Monthly Archives: April 2007

A Journey Home

Thanks to the generosity of Herrick Kimball, we were able to enjoy a documentary tonight entitled, “A Journey Home,” produced by Franklin Springs Media. The movie features the Waller family — Tommy Waller was a successful manager with FedEx when several years ago he walked away from his job and bought some land in the country (my dream). His family then began to make a living in organic farming while living totally off-grid. Today, the Wallers have 11 children and live in Israel, where they have an agrarian ministry called Ha Yovel.

I found the movie to be inspiring. Tommy Waller had a God-given dream — he was led by God to turn his back on the world and pursue a vocation where he could raise his boys (at the time he had five boys, he now has seven boys and four girls). We all should be strong enough to trust in the Lord and follow His lead. Some have stated that they would like to know how the Wallers made it work. It was obvious in the movie — they trust God and He provides.  Of course, if they paid cash for their house, their expenses would have been minimal: no mortgage, no utilities, most likely no insurance, they grew their own food, so their total expenses per year were probably less than $10,000.

Please check out previous reviews here and here, and look for the next review here.

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Job Offer

After months of sending in applications and resumes to various firms and institutions in Nebraska, I finally got a job offer — that I didn’t even apply or ask for!

I fully feel that it is God’s will that we move to Nebraska to live a country life.  I feel that God led us to the land that we found, that He allowed us to buy the land, that He arranged everything so that the house would go on sale at the right time, that He created the opportunity for us to buy that house.  God has allowed and led us to buy 83.23 acres in beautiful rolling land that includes a house and a barn.

But I am not one to lightly turn down a job offer.  Yesterday, I got a call from Air Force assignments, telling me that they have an opening in our Litigation section in Washington, DC.   It is a great job and would be a great opportunity for me to rub elbows with some very influential people.  The job is a duty-hours-only job and doesn’t include many late nights.  It is also work that most law firms can understand, allowing me to pad my resume.  The boss is a guy that I have worked for in the past, and really enjoyed working for.  I wouldn’t be working in the Pentagon, but in Rosslyn, VA, which is a few miles away.  I would be working in an office building, commuting to work on a train.  It would allow me to stay on active duty long enough for our baby to be born (midwifery is legal in Virginia), for our adoption to be completed, and for my promotion to take effect.  It would mean leaving Phoenix this summer!  It would also put me within driving distance of Polyface Farms and my extended family in Pennsylvania (although my parents will be on the mission field in Ukraine for the whole two years).

But it is not what we have been working toward.  We have been preparing to make a move to the farm.  And we have timelines all worked out — we are ready to go.  Except that we still don’t have a job.  And we aren’t sure that we will be able to have our baby be born at home.  And we don’t know how my change of job will effect our adoption.  My promotion should happen either way.  And we are looking at making our move in September, only 2-3 months later than the move to DC, and the move will be to our land in Nebraska, not to a rented house in Manassas.

I have prayed about this decision, but I haven’t seen the bolt of lightning that says Yes or No.  I need more time to pray and consider before I will feel confident.  If I have to answer today, this morning, I would say that we do not want the job.  Gina thinks this is a distraction.  Maybe she is right.  I feel that this could be a question of whether we will trust God to provide for us or if I will continue to lean on the crutch of my current employer.

Please pray for us.

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Pretty Much Decided

Okay, we have pretty much decided when we want to move.  I want to extend my time on active duty through the end of November, to ensure that I remain insured through the birth of our baby.  Our due date is 11 November, so I am guessing the baby should be born before the end of November.  My best guess today is that I will be able to start my terminal leave on 15 September, assuming I take no more leave between now and then.  Any leave I use between now and then will obviously push our departure date back a little.

There is a half-baked plan right now to travel to NE in June, after our home is vacated, in order to lock up the house, transfer the car from Grandma’s in Ralston to the farm, and to move some household goods from AZ to NE.  My Dad is talking about joining us for that trip, but details have yet to be worked out.  I want to make sure I can claim movement of household goods that early.  Of course, I can’t wait to get started on the move.

With a move in mid- to late-September, my hope is to be settled so I can start work on 1 October.  Where?  Well, don’t I wish I knew.  I don’t know where I will be working yet; the search is still on.  My plan is to apply for a job as an Assistant US Trustee in Omaha, send my resume to my father-in-law, and recontact the Nemaha County Attorney, US CIS, and the Scudder Law Firm.  I also plan on submitting my application to be licensed in Nebraska very soon.

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Filed under Baby, Farm, Work

Duding at the Ranch

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Howdy! We just spent a great weekend at Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson, Arizona. What a great time we had! We drove down early Saturday and met Gina’s Dad. We then spent some time riding horses, taking a “fun”damentals class, then going on a trail ride with Caleb, then we went to the pool before Dinner. Dinner was down in a cottonwood grove and they fed us well. We were exhausted when we made it back to our rooms after dinner.

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Then on Sunday we went for a Breakfast Trail Ride, riding for about an hour before we stopped for hotcakes, sausage, bacon, and eggs. The kids met us up there for Breakfast, Meagan hiked up and Caleb rode separately with the kids.

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After Breakfast, we still did a bunch more riding, taking the intermediate class, the loping lesson, and the intermediate class a second time. Gina wasn’t that interested in the loping lesson, so she split off and followed the kids the rest of the afternoon, going on a second trail ride with Caleb Sunday afternoon. We were all sore and tired after two days in the saddle, but what a great time we all had!

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There was also a kids’ program, in which Caleb & Meagan both participated. They had great activities that the kids enjoyed, but they both LOVED riding horses!

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When to move?

I just came back from meeting with a midwife.  My wife had the appointment, so I went with her.  What a relief it was to meet them — they were absolutely wonderful.  They will allow us to make the decisions we want to make.  I can’t even begin to express what a relief they were.  We have had two rough experiences with hospital births in the past and are so looking forward to doing a homebirth on our terms.

Obviously, one of the issues is that we will have to pay for this out of our own pockets — $2600.  But I am definitely in favor of paying the money because of the freedom it will give us.  It seems HMOs won’t cover licensed midwives because they are afraid they will be sued.  They only cover certified midwives who deliver in hospitals — something we aren’t interested in doing.

So now I don’t know what to do.  Our due date for the baby is 11 Nov.  My service commitment with the Air Force goes through 10 Nov.  Not a big deal for purposes of insurance, since my insurance wouldn’t cover the birth anyway.  But it is a big deal for us because we want to head to Nebraska as soon as possible.  We are so anxious to get started with our new agrarian life.  With all my saved vacation time (leave), I could leave Phoenix as early as 28 August to head up to Nebraska.  But these wonderful midwives then won’t be able to deliver our baby, since they don’t travel all the way to Nebraska to help with deliveries. 

We looked up Nebraska while at the midwives’ office and found out that there are no regulations of midwives in Nebraska, nor is homebirth prohibited.  But we haven’t had a very easy time finding a midwife in Nebraska who can assist with a homebirth.  We will keep looking, though.

So our dilemma now is whether we should still get out of Phoenix as quick as possible and head to Nebraska in early September or wait in Phoenix until our baby is born, then move to Nebraska.

Any thoughts?

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Filed under Baby, Work

My Parents

It is amazing to me how time flies.  I regularly check other blogs, and think to myself how irresponsible it is to have a blog and not have new entries every time someone visits, but then I go and do the same thing!  My excuse is that my parents came to visit over the last week.  They got in on Wednesday evening and the kids loved having them around to play with. 

On Saturday, they went with us to Meagan’s first T-Ball game of the season.  What a great time we all had.  Meagan even scored the first run of the season!  She did it the best way — one base at a time.  On her second at-bat, she made it to first but then was forced out at second on the next play.  On her third at-bat, she was forced out at first.  I think she had a good time — I am trying to maintain the excitement for her.

Yesterday, we went over to the Arizona Mills mall and just walked around during the heat of the day.  Temperatures here are already into the 90s.  Unfortunately, my parents had to leave this morning.  My Dad hopes to come back through one more time before they return to Ukraine.

For those of you who don’t know, my parents are second-career missionaries to Ukraine.  Last year they were in Ukraine from February through November.  Then they returned home to go through a bunch of courses and to be certified as second-career missionaries, and to raise the support they need to return.  Their plan is to return to Odessa, Ukraine, in July for a two-year visit.  We are going to miss them incredibly, but they are engaged in very important work.

Oh, they are missionaries through Mission to the World, which is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church in America.

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Filed under Family & Friends, Missions

March 2007 Training

I didn’t exactly stick with my plan, but I did make some progress this month.  Maybe in April I will begin to make more headway.

1 – 3 miles @ 9:00/mile (only completed 2.5 miles on treadmill @ 6.6mph)
3 – 4-mile long run
6 – 6 4×400 @ 8mph w/2-min recovery
8 – 3 miles @ 9:00/mile (only first 2 miles on pace, total was 2.63 miles in 26:18)
10 – 5-mile long run (ouch! tried running at 4:00 in mid-80s heat; only ran 33 mins)
12 – 6×400 @ 8mph w/2-min recovery @ 5.5 mph
14 – 4 miles @ 9:00/mile skipped, I was feeling tired and stiff/resting for 5K
16 – St Patrick’s Day 5K (ran with Pastor in 26:35! — one minute off last month)
20- 9×400 @ 8mph w/2-min recovery 30 mins on treadmill w/ 5×400 @ 8mph, rest at 5.5mph (35 mins for 3.5 miles including cooldown)
22 – 4 miles @ 9:00/mile
24 – 6-mile long run

26 – 2-mile office PT run (to General’s house and back)
29 – 4-mile run outside
31 – 6-mile long run

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