Archive for the ‘school’ Category

NINE Years!

It’s hard to believe, but Chad & I have been married nine years today. Neither one of us would have been able to predict what has happened in the last nine years. Chad was going to be a farmer, & I his farmin’ wife. He had 3 years of University to finish when we got married, we actually moved out onto the farm after a year of living in town, & life was good. We thought we’d wait until he was finished school before we started having kids b/c it was easier that way & I wasn’t allowed to work for the first year & 1/2 b/c of immigration laws.

After he finished his Bachelor’s degree, we felt that God was calling us to something different for awhile, but figured we’d still eventually come back to the farm. Chad’s interests were in Economics & Philosophy, so we kind of put God to the test & applied to the only 2 schools in the world that had combined Master degree programs, figuring Chad wouldn’t make it into them….. He got into both. One at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, Netherlands, & the other at the London School of Economics in London, England. After much deliberation, we decided to go to London & spent the next 14 months in England.

Without having many connections over there, we quickly learned to rely on God. We had no place to live after the first 6 weeks, housing was expensive, & I was only able to get a part-time job b/c of the working culture over there. One night after a church service, Chad happened to speak to a visitor from just outside of the city, who was enamoured w/ Canada & they got to chatting about out housing situation. Without even checking w/ his wife, he invited us to come & live w/ them!

We took them up on the offer b/c we didn’t really have any other viable options at that time & we quickly became part of their family. They made us feel very welcomed & really showed us God’s love during the next year.

At the end of Chad’s Master’s program we had two options for our future:
1. Chad was offered a PhD position in Logic at King’s University College, London, which would basically take 2-3 years & lead to him becoming a professor.
2. We could go back to the farm in Alberta as we had planned.

Neither option really seemed to be what we were supposed to do, so one night, Chad asked God to tell him where we were supposed to go & God laid it on his heart to go into the ministry. Not exactly what we had in mind, but God had really been working in our lives through the family we were living with & made it possible for us to see it as a possibility (but it was still totally out of the blue). At this point we had been married 4 years & Chad had changed his major at least 4 times, so I don’t think I really thought he’d end up as a minister. I still figured it would lead to something else, since that seemed to be the pattern.

Now, here we are, married 9 years, expecting our 2nd child next month & Chad’s taking his first call as a minister! We figured we’d have 3-4 kids by now, live at the farm/feedlot, & we’d be established in life, but instead we are just starting out! Ten years after Chad’s highschool graduation, he’s taking his first job w/ benefits!

It has really taught us that you can’t foresee the future, only God knows where He’s going to take you & you have to trust Him at every turn. That year we spent in England was one of the best we’ve had b/c it taught us to depend on eachother & rely on God. For the first 6 weeks we were there I earned £198/week, & our rent was £200/week. We were using money we had saved from home in Canada for our food, but the exchange rate was C$2.50 = £1.00, so to conserve our resources we were sharing a can of frank&beans for dinner, or Spaghetti-Os, or a package of Raman Noodles…. Times were lean, but we had the best time walking around together exploring the big city in our cowboy boots & God brought us to a great place b/c we trusted Him.


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On Friday night we had a lovely meal at Arnie’s. We picked this restaurant namely for it’s delicious desserts. It also has really good sandwiches, but who doesn’t plan a meal based around dessert every now & then? Asher ate really well. He had a whole grilled cheese sandwich plus lots of fries. Then came time for the cakes & ice cream. Asher didn’t want to be left out, so he partook of the desserts as well. All was fine until we walked into the hotel door & he promptly expunged his dessert & dinner.

Saturday we went off to Chad’s Graduation. We stopped by the babysitter’s to drop Asher off only to be told that her house had been infected w/ strep throat. So Asher got to see his daddy graduate from Seminary afterall. Chad had said numerous times that he wanted Asher to be there at Grad & I had jokingly told him that would be fine as long as Chad looked after him then. I realized once we pulled into the parking lot that I haddn’t really dressed Asher for an appearance at graduation, but no one commented on his dressed down outfit.

After grad we went to Russ’ for a light lunch before the party. Asher didn’t want his hot dog. He just wanted fruit, so we were trying to get him to eat a few bites of hot dog to no avail. Then off to the party we went. Asher was quite tired & slept for awhile in Grandpa Vos’ truck & then just wanted to cuddle w/ Chad or I. Grandma & Grandpa took him back to the hotel for a nap while Chad & I stayed to chat w/ our friends we hadn’t seen in the last year.

We all met for dinner at the Grand Rapids Brewing Co. We didn’t even get the bread delivered to the table before the trouble started. Chad was talking to his brother-in-law at the opposite end of the table w/ Asher when Asher delivered his hot dog. So off I went to the hotel w/ Asher for a clean-up & early bedtime. We got back to the hotel to discover that we didn’t have keys to get in, so back to the Brewing Co. In the parking lot Asher puked some more just so I could learn just how hard it is to clean a car seat.

I finally got him home, washed, & in bed & was just starting on the car seat, & boy was I starting in on the car seat! It is impossible to take the cover off our car seat. You can get it mostly off, but the last few places that it’s attached are impossible to remove. I was getting quite frustrated. Who designs car seats, that children sit & puke in, that can’t be washed properly? We ended up wiping it w/ a hot cloth & spraying it liberally w/ Febreeze.

So after 2 days of feeling quite hot ( we didn’t have a thermometer along). we finally got home & discovered Asher had a fever of 103.9. Chad took him to the Dr last night b/c he maintained a high fever all day as well, & Asher has his first case of Strep Throat!

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…..And they call it vacation! Hah! Wednesday we will be starting our successive trips. We’re going to Grand Rapids to visit some friends & Chad will be attending the Festival of Faith & Writing which he has wanted to go to for a few years, but since the Seminary never gave them time off to attend it, he was never able to. Hence, this year, we’re going. We’ll be coming back home late Saturday night, then Chad has to preach at 2 different churches Sunday.
Not bad so far, eh? But Monday we leave for 2 weeks to England (with a side trip to Ireland). I know now that you’re saying “Stop your whinging, you get to go to England!” But I’ll have to do laundry in there somewhere too & I’m a little worried about what to pack for Asher. Normally we can nip into Walmart on a trip if we forget something, but that won’t be an option over there.
When we get back, Chad leaves the next morning for a 3 day men’s retreat for church, so I’ll be a single mum for a few days. I don’t mind so much during the days, but I really miss having him to help at meal times (and of course his company at night as well). Chad gets back from his retreat Saturday night & has to preach again on Sunday. Then we get 2 days of normalcy before the next leg of our journey.
Wednesday we’ll be going back down to Grand Rapids for Chad’s Seminary graduation. Yay! I’m excited about this. Coincidentally his 10 year highschool reunion falls on the same weekend. Yes, he’s been in school all this time. This summer he’ll be up for candidacy and ready for his first REAL job!

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Living in Boxes

I really feel sometimes like life is still on hold. The whole time Chad’s been in school we felt like we couldn’t have kids, couldn’t really start to plan the future b/c we never really knew where God was leading us….. Guess what, not a whole lot has changed, nor do I think it will…. ever.
Perhaps part of it is due to being a pastor in the CRC, moving every 5-7 years is kinda expected, but we learned a few years back that you can’t live life on hold or you’ll never do anything, and you’ll never really be happy. So on that note, since we’ll be moving in 7 months, do I unpack all the boxes of games that I have, or do I keep them in their boxes, making it easier when we move? Trust me, it’s no easy chore getting them all packed, there’s a ton of them. Do I try to go through the storeage room to find the bibs that I so stupidly packed away, and now really need, or do I just go buy more?

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So, last weekend was my 10 year high school reunion. Saturday we had a dinner for classmates & spouses. It was really nice, we got to see each other after a 10 year break. I was really excited about this event, but was a bit surprised that I was the only person who came that doesn’t live in Washington. Perhaps it was just a bad weekend for people, but I wish a little more effort had been made by some. There were about 33 people in my class, and 13 were there. Overall it was a nice size group, but it sure would have been nice to see everyone.

On Sunday afternoon we had a picnic for the families. This was very poorly attended. I understand that some without kids didn’t want to come b/c they aren’t particularly smitten with children, but even those with kids didn’t make a good showing. It was a bit disappointing, after all the hard work that some people made to organize the weekend. I’m really glad I went and got to see those who did deign to grace us with their presence. Hopefully we’ll get a better turnout at the next one, whenever that may be…………

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Yesterday Chad passed his Oral Comp. That’s basically a big test that covers all he’s learned while in Seminary. So he has 5 months left of school, then we’ll be going somewhere to do an internship in a church. I think I can see a light at the end of the tunnel now. It’s still kinda faint. Chad’s been in school ever since I met him 8 1/2 years ago. It’s kinda surreal that in 6 months he’s going to have a JOB! Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good weird!
Life for me goes on as usual. I stay home and while away the hours with Asher. Some days really seem to drag, especially when he’s tired and won’t sleep. He’s very frustrated with his station in life right now. He would LOVE to be walking, but just doesn’t have the balance yet. He’s only 6 months old, but don’t tell him that! The funny thing is that he can hold himself up on stuff, but if he falls over, he hasn’t yet figured out how to sit up on his own so he’s like a little turtle. He just wants to do so much more than he can.

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