September 28, 2011

Another Farewell

I apologize if it seems like this blog has been all about the farewells.  I don’t want you to think of this as a disheartening blog, but I guess this is the part of the process that we are in right now.  In these past couple of weeks, I have been saying goodbye to my employment.  I have worked in the Child Welfare field for five years and have loved every minute of it.  Despite it being both demanding and challenging, I have enjoyed the relationships that I have been able to build with youth and families.  It has been incredible to walk alongside children and adolescents who have experienced layers of significant trauma and see glimpses of growth.  I find it amazing each day that I can be used as a helper in their journeys!  In these five years, I have been blessed to work alongside some of the best professionals that are doing this tender, compassionate and important work.  I fully credit my professional development and growth to these mentors, supervisors and co-workers. 

In this time of learning, I have become increasingly passionate in being a part of finding “forever families” for youth in need.  It is my belief that all kids deserve a safe, loving and permanent family.  Moving to Nicaragua and leaving the Child Welfare field in the United States has been saddening to me.  However I find hope in a couple of things; that I will be able to use my passions and gifting’s with youth and families in Nicaragua and that someday I can return to the field of Child Welfare both professionally and personally.  Kevin and I hope to build our family through foster care and adoption, because every child deserves a family. 

Please click on the link below and take time to view this short video – it captures all of what I want to say in a few short minutes!

September 25, 2011


Cassie and I feel extremely blessed at this moment. This morning we were “commissioned” and sent out by Cassie’s home church, a church whose members have walked beside and supported her since her youth, a church that married us and now walks beside her and I in the next step of our journey together. We are grateful for Cross of Glory and its members who have committed themselves to praying for us! Cassie and I also ask for your thoughts and prayers in this time of transition and for the work ahead in Nicaragua.

September 21, 2011



1. Kevin enjoyed the “annual” fishing trip with my dad and his high school buddies.

2. Enjoying Happy Hour with the Bethel gals.  We miss our community living.

3. Said goodbye to Mandy who is serving in India with the American India Foundation.  We have amazing friends doing great work (pictured with the adorable Target model Noah).

4. We had our last weekend at the cabin and enjoyed a ride on the rope swing.  Go Mom!

5. I have been sewing up a storm and even made my first quilt!  I have also given a few “lessons,” even though my students know more about sewing than I do.

6 & 7. Lake time with friends.  Pray for our friend Nikki’s mom who is in her last days.

8. Sonic Run!

9. Salsa making day.  We canned approximately 233 pints (I cut the onions and then sewed).

10. Visit to Des Moines to see the new and fabulous Jude Dude along with his cool parents and a few other lovely friends.

11 & 12. We babysat (and spoiled) our niece and nephew.  We love you Lo and Drew!

13. We headed out to Cali for my cousin’s wedding.  Kevin and my parents are pictured in front of the old water system.

14. Palm trees and friends.

15, 16 & 17. Jessica and Bobby Liu!  Kevin officiated his first wedding and did fabulous.  I was more nervous than him.

18. Another “goodbye” visit with my sissy and her boy.  We visited them and did a progressive dinner at the Denver Airport during our two hour layover. 

September 19, 2011

Peace is at the Heart

HEALING is a part of peace. When people are affected by war, crimes or family violence, the hurts and scars can shape their lives for years to come. Taking action to reconcile broken relationships helps reconnect families and communities. Even small steps towards healing and healthy relationships can become important building blocks for a peaceful future.

As followers of Jesus, we are called to his example of WORKING AND LIVING for peace. Jesus did not shy away from his enemies, but faced them in love, truth and forgiveness despite the costs. Around the world, people are courageously and lovingly resisting ways of violence.

Peace is not only resisting violence. God also calls us to work for JUSTICE AND WELL-BEING FOR ALL. We are invited to listen to and advocate for people whose voices are rarely heard. We are called to search for our role in restoring God’s kingdom on earth and to learn how our human-made structures of society, government and even sometimes religion may create barriers to peace.

Living in Christ’s way of peace means seeking to be compassionate not only in personal relationships but also in our ECONOMIC PRACTICES. Mennonites have a long history of living simply so that others may simply live. Yet it takes courage and commitment to narrow our own options and choices in a society where we are bombarded with messages to consume more, not less.

Created in the image of God, we are called to act as stewards of all God entrusted us, an especially vital role in an era of environmental degradation, climate change and a growing scarcity of natural resources. For many of our global neighbors, caring for the ENVIRONMENT is a matter of necessity. Restoring precious soil can make a difference in whether families have enough to eat. May we honor their work and strive to restore the earth God has made.

Excerpt from MCC’s PeaceParts Storybook. For Further Information, see: MCC Peaceparts Resources

September 15, 2011


Mother Theresa was asked by a reporter what she said to God when she prayed. She replied, “Mostly I just listen.” The reporter then asked what God said to her. “Mostly he just listens,” she replied.

September 13, 2011

Hasta Luego

I prefer "See You Later" rather than "Goodbye." It may be the avoidance of what is to come, but it seems much more comforting. We are trying our best not to avoid the goodbyes, but to embrace them and make them clear. In our goodbyes we are hoping to express appreciation for our relationships.

We are currently in Sheldon, IA (Kevin's hometown) at the local library with our niece Lauren. Kevin is reading her a Clifford book :) We started our ten day tour on Monday, heading to Des Moines to say some "See You Later's." We will hang out here for a couple of days and then head out to California for my cousin's wedding that we are both a part of. We are looking forward to some quality time with friends and family!

September 8, 2011

The Bonnie and Rav

Cassie and I have reached some mile markers this summer. After several years of good service on only ONE set of tires in TEN years (the metal was showing through and I have been pumping up one tire since January before each use), we said goodbye to the Bonnie on the 14th of August. The Bonnie had become a special car with windows that did not go down, a fan that did not work, an emergency brake that thought it was constantly on and let me know it continually with a perpetual ding just to name a few of its special features. Meanwhile Cassie’s car, The Rav continues to roam the open road. We think we are going to keep her because of her faithfulness through the disaster she has weathered, hitting the 250,000 mile mark this summer. The Rav has experienced a hit and run and three accidents in the past 6 months (you should ask Cassie about that)! In all seriousness, Cassie and I love to travel, or better I should say we love to visit friends and family. I drive, she sleeps and we repeat, racking up over 40,000 miles of travel already this year. So we say goodbye, and yes the Rav will probably not be pulling up at your door anytime soon, but if someone wants to drive down to Nica and visit we may have a car that you could use!

September 1, 2011

Bikes and Berries

Last weekend we biked down to the Minneapolis Farmers Market with Kevin’s sister and her husband. We arrived around noon as the market was closing and WOW did we get some deals! Vendors gave us some great discounts and even threw in items for free. We got all of this produce for $9.00. It would have cost around $25.00 at the local grocery store. We are looking forward to all the fresh fruits and veggies in Nicaragua. The prices may be even better?!?