December 15, 2012

Our 2012 "Christmas Card"

Click HERE to see our 2012 photo album through Shutterfly 

(once it opens, click "View Photo Book" below the preview and it will load. Then click "full screen" so it's big enough to read)

October 10, 2012

Meet Ben!

Meet our new nephew Benjamin Gene! Mike's sister Jenny had him yesterday. Born at 3:47 PM at 8 pounds 13 ounces and 21 1/4 inches long.

With Dad

Grandma Bev

Grandpa Bob

World's Best Uncle Mike (the sticker says so!)

And Aunt Megan

His poor little head is bruised so if he moved much it hurt


But not for long :) We love you Ben!

September 4, 2012

Labor Day Weekend

So this one's been a doozy!! Super busy, as all long weekends seem to be:

Friday our family group started after classes/work. We are helping to lead a group for international students through IFC (International Friendship Connection), a ministry within our church. We had 5 Chinese students come, with Bible knowledge ranging from Christian's who read often to a few girls who had never seen a Bible before. I'm excited to get to know them all more in the coming weeks.

Saturday we drove down to Des Moines for a "Gotcha" party. Friends of ours have now not only picked up their new daughter from Ethiopia, but got to sign on the dotted line for the three girls that have been living with them in foster care for almost 3 years!! From 4 to 8 kids in just a few weeks!

After the party we drove back up to Ames for the Cyclones' first game and win of the season! We beat Tulsa. Now, considering my height, I usually watch football games like this:

So you can imagine how excited I was when ^^that guy^^ moved and I could see the game like this (well with the zoom lens): 

After the game, we did stadium clean up with SALT Company (the college ministry at Cornerstone) and then went home to rest our weary feet!

Sunday we had 16 kids in out 2.5-3's nursery (plus one 10-12 year old "helper" that wasn't so helpful), so it was sure busy. After that we had lunch and did a LOT of neglected laundry. We spent the evening with Ryan and Britney in Ankeny, having dinner and playing frisbee golf and cards. 

Monday we spent the day at Adventureland with our friend Mary's family. All I can say is, what a trooper!! You see, Mary is due with their first in THREE WEEKS. We're so excited to meet their little girl. Now we're back to the daily grind, but with only a 4 day week, woot! 

August 15, 2012

Our First Anniversary

Well, it's official. We're now in year 2 of marriage! We celebrated our anniversary a week early with our trip to Omaha, but we spent the actual day at the State Fair and then came home and ate year old cake - which was actually better than we expected.
Then we took a picture. We're hoping this will become an anniversary tradition. You take a picture each year, holding the picture from the year before. So then 1) you have to take and print at least one picture as a couple each year and 2) you have picture inception to look back at through the years. 

Jenny's Baby Shower

Last Saturday, we had a baby shower for Jenny at Mike's parents house. I did the invites/decorations and Bev did food and games. I went pretty well, and I don't think baby Ben is ever going to need anything else. Wow.

The super cute baby bump is here!!

Mom and Grandma :)

Jenny and I 

August 7, 2012

Omaha Trip

Last weekend, Mike surprised me with a trip to Omaha for our early anniversary. We stayed at the Hampton and when we got there, they upgraded us to a suite! It was huge and Mike was REALLY excited for the king size bed.

On Saturday, we woke up, had breakfast and went to the Henry Doorly Zoo. It sprinkled in the morning so there was barely anyone there until afternoon. Here's a few pictures of us. For animal pictures click here or here.

Mike's favorite animals are the giraffes, so it was fun that they were one of the first that we saw. 

I was so disappointed to find out that "pachyderm hill" was only rhinos, but then I got this picture with a baby elephant.

 This little boy (in orange) was sure Mike stole his goat in the petting zoo. We convinced him Mike could share and then the goat tried to eat his pants.
Once it got busy and we realized that we both don't like people : / Or at least rude people with empty strollers in small buildings and parents who let their kids run around screaming and crying when they don't get their way. Argh.

August 6, 2012

Summer so far.

Wow. I've been really bad at this. 
Here's our summer so far :)

Gideon Cox's birthday party with Rachel and Chris

Free PF Chang's that Mike won at the Kidsave Golf Tournament 

The two of u at Rachel and Chris' wedding

Reiman Gardens - Mike misses grass. 

 And hanging out with Courtney and other friends :) 

Colorbiotics golf with Jensena and Tyler - well, we didn't lose...

I'll post an update on our last weekend trip to Omaha soon. 

May 7, 2012

Chalk the Walk 2012

Here's some quick pictures of Chalk the Walk this year. We finished on Saturday because it was supposed to storm, but it ended up not. I'll add the photo by the professional photographer from above in the next couple days because I don't have that one yet. For those of you who don't know, Chalk the Walk is a festival in Mount Vernon, IA where Main Street is shut down and sectioned off into 8x10 foot works of art done with chalk pastels. This is the fourth year Megan and I have done a "big square". You can also pay $10 for a box of chalk and do a part of a (I think) 24x40 foot community piece.

Our supervisor :) Check out the feet burn lines. Those apparently got missed with the sunscreen. Also notice all the chalk around Mike done by random kids around the big pieces of art. That's usually some of my favorites :) 
Thanks to Ace Hardware! 
Our design that we started with. Came up with it Friday morning at like 10:30 and started less than 24 hours later... oh finals :/
Megan and I with the completed work
I love this one because Mom pointed out the kids' reactions. This is what we got ALL DAY. It was so fun to hear them all so excited about UP. 

March 25, 2012

Five Loaves!!

Five Loaves is up and running!
Five Loaves is a non-profit organization started by my father and a few others which is running within Promise for Haiti. It is focused on providing health care to families in Northern Haiti. The program links sponsors in the States with a family in Haiti. Both pay into a Health Development Account (HDA) annually.

The front of the Hospital in Pignon
Approximately half goes towards the hospital in Pignon, Haiti's daily operating costs and the other half goes into an account specific to the Haitian family, the last very small percentage going towards paying the Haitian representative for Five Loaves. In the case of an illness or injury, the family presents their HDA ID card and the hospital can take the funds necessary from the account. The family can also take out some money towards funeral costs in the case of a death and after the family has paid in a certain amount, they can apply for permission to take out a loan against up to 20% of the account value towards education, home improvement or business supplies.

There are currently 50 families signed up to receive accounts as soon as sponsors are available. The need is there, check it out!

For more specific information (dollar amounts, requirements of Haitian families, etc) please click here or feel free to contact Doug Grunder at

NO MORE ER... Please!!!

That's right. No more. I'm past my quota for the year.

So far this year we took in a friend who had an allergic-esque reaction to her contacts and then Mike's grandmother at Christmas when she had pneumonia after her final treatment for lung cancer (she's doing wonderfully now, PTL!!). That's about two times more than any other year, so I thought I was done. But no.

On Friday Mike decided to be a really great husband and re-wash the dishes that didn't get clean in our awful dishwasher without me asking or anything. While doing so he sliced his finger on our "big old serial killer knife". Luckily (1) we live 5 minutes from the ER, (2) the knife was fairly clean and really sharp and (3) he filleted it making a shallow cut and avoided all the tendons in the knuckle.

Once the 5 stitches come out next weekend, he'll be all fixed up.

Sorry if this make's ya nauseous or something, but my mom was okay with it so I  hope its safe for everyone :)