Sunday, November 30, 2008

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving day was a good day. We started out by going to my (matt) parent's place to hang out and eat. Dinner started around 2:45 and it was amazing. My family loves to cook and they're good at it. My dad is a master on the BBQ so we had some wicked awesome smoked turkey and ham made on his Traeger grill. Mmmmm.
We hate to eat and run but had to. We left around 4:00 and busted from Gresham to Hillsboro to go meet Sharon's family who was at her aunt & uncles place. We caught the tail end of their dinner and it was also quite tasty. I am one lucky guy. After some good time visiting and eating dessert we headed home.

Then came the next chapter of our day. We went to bed at 10:00 p.m. and set our alarms for a big day of shopping. We woke up at 1:45 a.m. and were out the door a little after 2:00 a.m. ( Apparently the outlet stores near our house open at 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving day and stay open all night with sweet sales.) So we (sharon, lynn, and I) shopped from 2:30 in the morning until 9:00 a.m. We scored on some amazing sales and it was kinda crazy and fun too. But needless to say we were spent by the time the sun came up.
This is Lynn sporting her belated birthday present from us. (We'd been looking for a cute dog purse online for a while and found the one we'd found online for a third of it's original price!)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

MTI is flyin by

Our 2 weeks at MTI (missions training international) is going so fast. We have really enjoyed the teaching and are so glad this was a prerequisite on our journey to Slovenia.

We have had the privilege to attend this language program with some friends who are also going to Slovenia with Josiah Venture this next year.

The couple on the left is Hondo and Trish Wynn with their little boy Caleb. We kinda know them from our time at Multnomah but are enjoying getting to know them a lot better here.

The middle fam is Brad and Laurel Jenkins with their little dude Landon. Sharon and Laurel also know each other really well from Multnomah and have been friends for years. I knew Brad a little bit because he was a cool upper class-man but he didn't want to associate with low life's like me.

Both couples are super cool and I am having a great time getting to know them a lot better. Needless to say we are also stoked to go to the field and serve with quality folks like them. God is good.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Life at 7500'

I have to say that I was a little apprehensive about taking off 2 weeks of work and shelling out a lot of coin to come to the language acquisition program we are taking part in right now. BUT we are 5 days into it and I can honestly say its already been worth it. Both Sharon and I have commented many times just how much we wish that we would have done a program like this before we went to Lithuania.

Here's the crazy thing about living at 7,500 foot elevation near Colorado Springs. Two days ago it was in the upper 50's and today we woke up to a couple inches of snow! By mid afternoon we had almost 4 inches. And here's the kicker, on Sunday its supposed to be almost 70 degrees for a high. I love it.

Fun times with the Niemeyers

What a treat! We had the opportunity to visit with our friends Mark and Brenda when we first arrived in Colorado. Here are some photos of our trek out to their favorite camping spot in the mountains:

The Niemeyers

Climbing trees

Saturday, November 08, 2008

A Conferencing we will go....

Tis the season for conferences in our life. We went to Chicago almost a month ago for Josiah Venture orientation and now I (matt) am sitting here in the airport getting ready to leave for Colorado Springs for 2 weeks.

You see before someone goes out to the mission field with J.V. they are required to go to 3 things which prepare them for going over Eastern Europe. The first on the checklist is orientation in Wheaton IL., which we blogged about a few weeks ago.
The second prerequisite is a 2 week language course called PILAT It is basically a crash course in how to learn another language. Though we won't actually learn any Slovene on this trip we will get the framework for how to learn Slovene.
The third stipulation is a course on cross cultural training to help people in their transition to another culture. Luckily, J.V. has waived this requirement for Sharon and I since we have lived overseas for 2 years.

We will return from Colorado on Friday the 21st and go straight from the airport to a Family Life marriage conference in Portland.

So a high ho the dairy o.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

23 Weeks Today

I have to say that I feel bigger than this picture seems to show. Maybe I'll try taking another one in a day or two.
23 weeks and counting . . .

Halloween Fun

My sister Lynn is right - carving miniature pumpkins is the best!

Last Friday we had a blast celebrating Halloween with Mark and Shelley + kids + neighbors + neighbors' kids + Matt's parents.

Shelley was having so much fun with the face paints . . .

. . .that even Matt got into the action.

Though the pictures don't reflect it - the house was packed and filled with kids high on sugar :-)

Saturday, November 01, 2008

At the Home with some homies

On Monday I had the opportunity to visit with some very dear people at my mother's place of work. Mom works at an assisted care facility in Tacoma, WA.

Because she knows that we are working on building a ministry partner team for our work with Josiah Venture, she wanted to help us out. And having been a missionary herself (she was a nurse in Ethiopia) she understands just how critical it is to have a team of people committed to praying faithfully for us and the ministry.

So I got to spend a morning hanging out with Alice, Father John, and Fred. They were an absolute delight, asking many questions and showing so much excitement for what Matt and I will be doing. I walked away from our time together feeling very blessed indeed to have these guys praying for the ministry in Slovenia!

Father John, Me, and Alice (Fred needed to leave in time to get a good seat at lunch :-)