Category Archives: Family & Friends

Settlers of Catan

Last night, we had a friend come over for dinner and he brought a new board game he had recently bought, Settlers of Catan.

Settlers of Catan

We all played together, with our guest helping Meagan and the rest of us playing on our own. It was probably a bit too much of a boy game for the whole family to always enjoy playing together. Gina struggled throughout the game, although she had a respectable finish. Caleb did quite well during the game, despite being in a tough spot — he raised the largest army, which really satisfied him. He kept wanting to use his army to wipe out one of my settlements! I looked like I was doing really well throughout the game, but ended up losing at the very end to Meagan and our guest.

I know Meagan had a good time because she got to play the game with our guest.

It was definitely a fun game for the entire family and one that I wish we had in our inventory.

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Oma & Opa here

Oma & Opa (my parents) are here for a brief visit before they return to the mission field.  My dad was a grocery store manager since before I can remember, but two years ago, he left that work to become a missionary.  In January of last year, he and my mom went to Ukraine on a “short-term” mission until November.  After they returned, they received all kinds of training and were approved as second-career missionaries to Ukraine.  They have been raising support and have reached the level of support they need.  Here is a link to their team’s website.  So, in one week they leave to go back to Ukraine, this time for 2-3 years (I think 2 years is the official number, 3 years is what they keep talking about).

In preparation for their return to Ukraine, my parents sold their house last month and packed all their stuff into two packrat units.  In December they plan on coming back to the States for a visit (to see their new grandchild!) and they plan to move all their stuff from Delaware to Nebraska.  That should be interesting.

We don’t really have any plans for their visit, but the kids are excited about getting to play with their grandparents.  We will be going back to the airport this morning to welcome my friend and co-worker home from Iraq, but otherwise these few days are wide open with possibilities.

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Duding at the Ranch


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.


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.


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!


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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Filed under Family & Friends, Horses

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

Caleb’s Birthday

Last Friday was Caleb’s 8th birthday!  It seems so hard for me to believe that my little boy is 8 years old!  We had a great day; I was able to take off from work and we spent the day together.  Caleb & I went to the base and got to fly in Lockheed Martin’s F-16 simulator.   What a blast that was.  We got to sit in the cockpit of an F-16, with video all around us, and we flew the jet around the west valley.  Caleb sat on my lap, so I had a tough time seeing most of the instruments, and his head was right in front of the HUD.  At the end of our time, we got to chase down a B-52; again, alot of fun.  A special thanks to Lockheed Martin for allowing us in, and to Jon Burgess at Apple for arranging it.

Friday night, Caleb got to open his gifts, which included a set of Legos from his sister, a throwing knife and video from Gina & I, and boxing gear from his Grandpa in Texas.  The throwing knife came from Pearl Outdoors.  Caleb also got a Nerf dartgun set, complete with vests and protective eyewear, that he and I played with on Saturday and had a great time.  Overall, he got some great gifts for his birthday, and he is so thankful. 

Also, Caleb’s grounding ended finally.  Caleb had been grounded several weeks ago for lying, and his punishment was that he could not leave our sight until his birthday.  His punishment has been served, and I think it was a great time, forcing us to spend more time together, tomato-staking.

What a blessing Caleb is.

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Last night, Caleb had his awards ceremony for his winter basketball league. It was painful to sit through — they stretched what should last ten minutes into 30. But Caleb got to bring home his trophy, which he is very proud of. Monday night, Caleb & I went to the Coyotes-Flyers game here in Phoenix. Caleb took a couple pics of the game: 102_1047.JPG 102_1048.JPG

We had a good time, Caleb brought a friend, so I didn’t get to sit by Caleb. For those who care, the Flyers flew right into the teeth of the Coyotes, losing 4-0. The tickets were free to us, courtesy of a co-worker, Jeff Scoular, of Pay It Forward.

In uploading pics from the game, I came across another story I should share with you. After winter basketball comes spring baseball. So Caleb & I were out throwing a hardball a couple weeks ago. He gets pretty scared of the ball, so I was trying to throw to his glove-hand side so he wouldn’t have to miss the catch and get nailed by the ball. Well, on the last throw of the night (it wasn’t going to be the last throw), my aim was a little off and I accidentally threw it at Caleb’s head. He missed the catch with his glove, but his eye socket stepped in and made the stop, so at least he didn’t have to run after the ball. Anyway, here is a pic.


I felt terrible for at least a week. Don’t worry — he’s all better now. He wants to do it again!

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Wonderful news

Okay, okay!  I admit it.  The pressure is getting too much to bear.  We are so excited we can’t hold back anymore.  We kept the news to ourselves for a whole week, though.

We’re having a baby!

Of course, this early we don’t know much, but we do know that the due date is November 11, 2007.  That is an interesting date, because it is also when my commitment to the Air Force is up.  So now we don’t know what we are going to do.  Should we stay in the Air Force for a few more months so we can have our baby for free?

Also, Gina really wanted to use a midwife for this delivery.  It looks like there is only one Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) in the Phoenix area that accepts our insurance, and apparently CNMs may have to deliver in a hospital, which is one of the aspects of delivery Gina wanted to avoid this time around.  Gina asked her friend about the lay midwife that she used and learned that the lay midwife only cost about $2200.  So, we can either have the baby for free in a hospital, but this time using a CNM, or we can pay $2200 to have the baby at home.

For those who are curious, this hasn’t changed our adoption plans at all.  This will probably help make the waiting easier.  Based on their current rate of referrals, it looks like we can expect a referral in the earliest months of 2008 (two years after filing).

For now, I am torn between moving to Nebraska in September 2007, at our first opportunity, and waiting until March 2008 to move, after the baby is born, the adoption is final, and my promotion board results come out.  I am starting to lean heavily in favor of the Spring move, even though I really want to be there now!  Of course, the job situation may drive this harder than any other factor.  If I don’t have a job lined up in September, I won’t want to move then.  If I don’t have a job lined up in March, I won’t want to move, either, but by then I will be running out of time.


Filed under Baby, Family & Friends