Friday, April 16, 2010

Sorry for the Hiatus...

So I admit, I am a blog stocker, but not the best blogger.... I was thinking of a few of the things we have done since my last blog and my top five were...
(well..maybe 6. i just couldn't narrow it no specific order)

1. Going to ALASKA for our Commissioning as Nehemiah Church Planters
2. Going back to Kentucky to spend much needed time with my in-laws and growing nephew!
3. Having an amazing mission team come up and be an incredible encouragement from KY
4. Having Baby Julia's 1st Birthday Party!
5. The McNeals in Fargo!
6. Going on an Anniversary Get Away to Sioux Falls SD to celebrate 2 years with Jeremy

Good times indeed. Alaska is amazingly beautiful and although we went in the middle of January, it was actually warmer than Fargo :) It humbled me at the work of Creator God in the midst of absolutely breaktaking scenery. I will admit, when I first heard Alaska and January in the same sentence, I was not at all excited. Boy was I wrong. Amazing trip for sure. New friends, challenging messages (particularly for me on the power of prayer) and encouragement from the natives.

Kentucky was excellent as well. When I go to my in-laws it is true rest. We spend most of the time around the house and enjoy conversations, games nights (of course!) and now running after sweet (on the go) Sawyer. Jeremy and I got to enjoy 50-60 degree weather in February! and went on a muddy 4 wheelin ride. It was great to see my preggo sister n law and brother n law, as well as surprise "Grandaddy" with his 80th bday party. We are getting ready for the arrival of our first niece in just a few weeks!

And I will elaborate on the next three maybe in another post...but in the meantime share some BIG news !
On May 3rd, if all unfolds (and your prayers are appreciated) we will be BUYING our first home!

When the tax rebate got extended, Jeremy and I started considering a home. Our apt lease would be up in May and we were seeking out our next step. We started looking. We went to quite a few open houses, saw a red house we liked but were not satisfied with it having no full bathroom, so we went to more open houses. Then we saw the red house again. Then we went to a few more houses with the realtor. Then the realtor told us he had been doing his homework and a remodel of the bathroom would not be out of reach and that he thought we could get the price down significantly. And within two days we had an offer on the house. And then counteroffer and then an agreement! It all went quite fast and now we are somewhat patiently awaiting our close. Just trying to get all the items together for the bank in the meantime. Pics to come...we have some updating to probably some fun before and afters! In the are a couple photos of our top 5s.

Jeremy and I at one of the Trails in Eagle River..about 15 mins from Anchorage
the sunset on Seward Hwy coming back into Anchorage
scenary out the car window...
just goofing off in Toys R Us with the ONE year old :)Happy Bday Jules! ...despite what the face says, we are BFF!Surprise Party at O'Charleys...of which we do not have in FargoGrowing Nephew Sawyer--19 months now!At "Falls Park" in Sioux Fall, SDFirst sighting of grass!! And full flip flop weekend :)again at the FallsK comes to town!our next church planters for Sojourn :) ..with the flood in the background....

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Taste of Christmas...

Jeremy's Excited Face after seeing his new PS3!
Me and Jules in our matching, new Christmas coats!
I definitely came home to Jeremy in his KY sweatershirt using my Snuggie :)
Baby Jules in her new scarf and hat that Gma Ruthie made her..too cute!

We had a super fun Christmas! Jeremy started bugging me as usual about what he was getting for Christmas and even said a couple nights before, am I getting a ps3? Furious that he might have guessed his gift, I had decided he would get his present at like 11:59pm on Christmas night. So we opened up presents from our families at our house and then went to the Fishers where some of our "big" presents lied. So we got over there and watched Jules open presents and play for a while.. Then the Fishers and Robinson exchanged presents. I got my fabulous green coat!! And I got Jules one to match. We got Abs some fabulous kitchen accessories and JF Harry Potter books. We saved Jeremys for last and John had gotten him a Blu Ray movie and PS3 movie. Jeremy had a very confused face. I said, well would you like another present :) It was SUPER fun!! He was SO SO SO SO surprised. He said he was totally kidding guessing that night and it was wonderful! I got lots of fun things as well.... A new camera, camera accessories, fun house accessories, jeans, new tops, Gator snuggie, and much more! Bottom line we are spoiled rotten---- or just deeply loved!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

White Christmas...

Pictures above and below are from out our front door
This is our assigned parking the very right middle you can see the reflective signs and it says "101". Definitely working on getting the snow removal crew out!

Jeremy's poor Civic... And the picture below shows our fancy Jeep Cherokee in the background compliments of my father n law! (Good Bye Ole Faithful Camry--I do miss you (maybe not in the snow)
walking through this snow in our parking lot was a bit of a challenge! But we did it and made it over to the Fishers for a Christmas Day Slumber Party!

Above and Below: Island Park in the Winter

Last but certainly not least....the most hideous yard Christmas decoration I have ever seen. it is an angel and this picture does not begin to do it justice!

While we missed family FOR SURE, we had a great time developing our own little traditions.... Christmas Eve service (well Jeremy was working but I made it off work just in time), Reading of the Christmas story as a couple, followed by a Christmas movie! (Christmas with the Kranks this year). Woke up to Christmas morning opening family presents, just the two of us, and then headed over to the Fishers before the roads got real bad, for more Christmas fun with the presents are parents sent there to hide (things like PlayStation 3 and Cameras and a whole lot more!). We made an amazing brunch of sausage balls, hashbrown casserole, fruit and I dont remember what else :) and had a blast all night long (who says you cant have slumber parties at 27!) watching Julia play and having movie marathon! Good Times.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Old Memories, New Traditions...

(warning: its a long post :)

It has been WAY too long since I have updated. Although we have been in Fargo for 6 months now, I still feel the busyness of settling in. I am now working part time at Bethany (instead of On Call) and it has been quite the adjustment trying to bring my "clinical" brain back from my Vanderbilt days four years ago. I have also been really enjoying the Y and working quite a bit of hours there. This month, thankfully, I am getting my work hours a little more "set" and am enjoying developing a little bit of a routine.

My family has been wanting an update of the Fargo winter...So i thought i would do a little post on my new memories of winter and holidays thus far, and then past memories of my grandma who passed away one year ago today.

Honestly, Fargo winter has been very mild so far. My coworker reminded me however that "winter" doesn't officially begin until the 21st or somewhere close to that. The Lord has grace on us and we had the second warmest November in Fargo history. Not much snow and no coat needed (for the most part). We had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner at the Fishers house filled with crab legs, meatballs, turkey, bacon wrapped shrimp, corn casserole, hashbrown casserole, broccoli casserole, and sweet potato casserole. And cant forget the homemade blueberry and pecan pies thanks to a new friend Sam here in Fargo and my families cookies and cream recipe. We played a game, got google eyed over Jules, and just had a great time relaxing and enjoying time together. I definitely missed not being with my immediate family, as well as extended, but I am thankful for the telephone and being able to share conversations that way!

This week the cold has arrived, and so far we are holding up quite well! (yes i understand we have many more months of cold, but one step at a time). It all the sudden went from the 40s to the teens/single digits in a week. Snow is on the ground and winter is in the air! Me and Jeremy have had a great time this week making new memories and traditions. Going out last night and picking out our first Christmas tree together was one of them (we didnt decorate at all last year with the quick passing of grandma and then Christmas with the fam). When it is 8 degrees and the Boys Scouts tree farm is outside, it makes picking out a Christmas tree quite easy. The first one we saw looked REAL nice! We actually went with the Fishers and it was a nice little outing together. Today, Jeremy and I enjoyed the day home together, putting on the lights, wrapping the tree with ribbon and putting on the ornaments while having the curtains pulled back and snow just a falling outside. We had to decorate the tree today because the branches were frozen yesterday :) But it is all thawed. I have a quick picture of the tree and the view from outdoors. Sadly, we put all the lights and went to take a pictures and the bottom set of brand new lights just died...but a picture none the less. We will work on replacing those this week!

(a look out the window)

(our first Christmas Tree!)

As we decorated...I couldnt help but remember Christmas traditions with grandma. I really cant believe it has been a year since she passed away. Me and my sisters, aunts, mom, and cousins would sit down on Thanksgiving and circle what we wanted in the sale ads. Then come Christmas, we would drive to Ocala after our own Christmas and there they would be. Piles upon Piles of presents for everyone, many of those presents circled from the ads(and definitely some that were not :). Man, I love her so much! Funny looking back how I can be so thankful for some of the most random gifts she gave as well, clothes that were always a few sizes too big and house items I didnt quite know what to do with. All a sacrifice and with love! I was reading my sisters blog full of memories and thought I would do some as well. I know one day I will look back at this and be able to smile of the things we did together.

Memories of "Granny"
1. Socks and more socks! If I liked them one year, I liked them for every year to come :)
2. Our trip to the precious moments house.
3. Her grabbing my wrist, not my hand, but my wrist when we were crossing the road
4. KOA camp ground and lathering on the sunscreen
5. "Be pretty girls....."
6. Her willingness to travel anywhere to be there for big events... and staying for about 24 hours :) (Most recently my wedding in Nashville)
7. Trip to MO--apple butter makin days and to see some big bear in a store in Branson MO
8. Watching her sit down on the floor and play with her grandchildren. Board games, little action figures, it didnt really matter--whatever we wanted to play
9. My nickname "Pammie Poo"
10. Going bowling
11. Birthdays--- she NEVER missed one
12. Going through the McDonalds drive thru.
13. Her and grandpa holding hands
14. Family dinners--- butter noodles for Aunt Annie, the classic rolls that Carla and I loved and just enough for everyone
15. Pinata and "the numbers"
16. Garage Sales
17. Packages at the Holidays (Easter, Halloween) with socks included..of course :)
18. Fudge and peanut butter kisses cookies at Christmas time
19. Utter selflessness
20. Love and Sacrifice

I loved my Granny and am thankful for the hope I can have of being reunited with her again. Praying especially for Gpa as he journeys life without her. I am sure he still hears "Gene..." as she always had something for grandpa to do!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I Wonder Why....

Growing up in church, there is one verse that stands out in my mind as a verse that was learned and recited quite often. If you have a similar upbringing, you know the one I am talking about. Whether we fully understood the implications at that time, I am unsure. But you know it. John 3:16 that is.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Son that whosoever believe in Him should not perish but have eternal life."

And what a powerful verse it is.

But tonight as I read through John Chapter 3 I had to wonder. Wonder what you may ask? I began to wonder, who decided that we should stop at John 3:16 and neglect verse 17 in memorization. I mean, come on, we are smart kids we can handle a few more words :)

John 3:17
"For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him."

And maybe I would not have appreciated that verse as much when I was a kid. I dont know. But as I look around the city that the Lord has surrounded me in at this moment, it sure is my desire to know that truth and share it with the people here. Christ does not seek to condemn but save. He does not seek to sell you short of what seem to be the ultimate pleasures--those of this world that is. Ohh that people here would know the love and grace of Christ alone. The love and grace that release the guilt, shame, addiction, failure. Not religion that can be suffocating. But Christ and the freedom that He grants. Ohh that I would seek passionately for that freedom and love on my own journey. To understand it more clearly.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Part of the Adventure...

Top Two Things I Love About Moving Across Country....
1. Visitors
2. New Adventures!

Jeremy and I have had a full house lately, with my parents visiting over Labor Day weekend, my sister coming a few days later, and then my in-laws left on Monday. Whew! Good Times indeed!! We love visitors and are ohh soo thankful for a new futon that just blows the air mattress out of the water :)

Mom and Dad are amazing. They took a large part of there vacation to come see what we were doing. Have I mentioned my parents, and family in general, are some of the most selfless, wonderfully encouraging people I know?! I love you guys!

While, we had a lot of good Sequences matches, lazy mornings lounging with the windows open, and of course me and mom did a little shopping, we also took a new little adventure to Itasca State Park in Park Rapids, MN. After a two hour drive that included bison sitings, and not much else :), we made our way to where the Mississippi River all begins. Thats right, a 32000+ acre park which includes a little swimming hole, also known as the mouth of the Mississippi. It was pretty neat! Pics Below.

Then, My sister Amy had some very important interviews (woo hoo!) in Omaha, NE and since she was already in Omaha why not come on up 6 exciting hours to Fargo, right?! So she did :) And it was fabulous! While it went by super, super fast, she got to be part of the new adventure of church planting, as we had a dinner social to talk about the upcoming events of Mission Fargo. She helped us turn a drab basement into an Italian dining room and it looked great! Thanks Amy for all your help! John would like you to rethink Peru and come join the team :)!

Did I mention I love my family?!? Thank you Jesus for 4 people that love you utmost and are examples to me. Thank you Jesus for two parents that support a daughter that is seeking after your will. Thank you Jesus for two sisters that pray, support, and come to join in the efforts here in Fargo! I am grateful.

apparently he did not think Itasca was that exciting :)

Amy and Baby Jules

Monday, September 14, 2009

Happy Birthday to You...

Happy Birthday to my sweet nephew Sawyer McGrew!! He is ONE year old today and just as fun as ever. While we have to be apart on his birthday, we are thankful the McGrew family got to visit about a month ago here in Fargo and we are super excited that he enjoyed his package we sent in the mail. Check out the link from my sister n law Crystal on her blog:

Thanks so much Brandon and Crystal for capturing the moments! It seriously seems like yesterday that we were in the hospital overnight waiting patiently for the bundle of joy to arrive. And what joy he has added! We love yall and definitely want you both to know how much we would have loved to have been in KY. We were both thinking about the three of you today (and yesterday)!

In other news, I started my training for my oncall dietitian position today. While I think it will be a great opportunity, it is a little overwhelming reentering the clinical-ish setting after being away from it for 4 years. And then not to mention Long Term Care is a little different than that. BUT hopefully it will all be clicking by the end of the week! I will also be picking up about 4 hours tues-thurs at the Y each day so please pray for endurance this week!

And Happy 6 Month Birthday to sweet Julia Fisher.
Where has this year gone?!?