Monday, June 22, 2009

We missed another issue! Life has been busy!

Spring/Summer 2009

Graduation from Seminary
After 3 years, 6 semesters, and 95 credit hours, John graduated from Multnomah Biblical Seminary with a Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree on May 15th. During graduation week, John was the recipient of two honors. First, due to his success in the classroom, John graduated summa cum laude. Second, John received the 2009 B. B. Sutcliffe Expository Preaching Award. This award is given by the faculty to the most outstanding preacher in the graduating class based on both the accurate study and skillful presentation of God’s Word. John’s selection is significant since several of his classmates are seasoned pastors with many years of preaching experience. As the award recipient, John was asked to deliver a sermon to the graduating class and their families at the Baccalaureate Service. John spoke from Ephesians 5:1-2 – “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly beloved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

On March 3rd, John went before a panel of three Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) pastors for his ordination interview. This interview was the culmination of two years of study and preparation which included reading several C&MA books, gaining practical ministry experience, and writing doctrinal position papers. In the interview, John was asked about his personal life, his doctrinal convictions and his ministry goals. After 2 hours of questions and answers, the pastors congratulated John and commissioned him as an ordained minister in the C&MA. As strange as it may sound, John now has earned the title of “Reverend” (although he much prefers the connotations associated with “Chaplain”).

Unexpected Change of Plans
Last November, John celebrated 5 years since he heard God’s call to the Army Chaplaincy while serving in Iraq. Unfortunately, in December, he learned that his plans to become a Chaplain immediately following graduation were put on a hold. The U.S. Army (in all its wisdom) decided that John lacked enough ministry hours to enter the chaplaincy in 2009. Thus, John and Bree decided to stay in Vancouver for another year while John continued to do volunteer at his church in order to fulfill the Army’s ministry requirements. Yet, as God would have it, John was offered a job working with ROTC Cadets at the University of Portland! This fall, John will be both mentor and advisor to the incoming freshman class. He will also continue to lead the Wednesday morning Bible study for cadets on campus. While it may not be traditional “ministry experience,” this job will provide a wonderful opportunity for John to transition from the seminary world back to the military culture. The current plan is for John to return to the Army as a Chaplain in Summer 2010.

New Baby
Back when “Jon and Kate Plus 8” was a more “stable” family and show, Lydia used to really enjoy watching it with Bree. Ever since then she has told us that she wanted us to be “John and Bree Plus 3.” So, come mid-February that is what we’ll be! And yes, we know that having 3 means that we automatically create a “middle child.” We think Micah with his fiery red hair and attitude is up to the challenge. J We’re very excited and we’ll keep everyone posted as the big arrival gets closer!

Life in the 1st Grade
Bree officially finished the 2008-2009 school year on June 18th and while she will miss most of her students, she was all too happy to walk out the door that afternoon. When she walked out at 1:00pm on that last day, her classroom was totally packed and clean and ready for a move to another classroom or a move to Bree and John’s garage. Next school year (2009-2010) is still not settled for Bree. She is currently slotted to teach a 1st/2nd grade blend classroom which she is still hoping to job share. Bree will need to make a final decision around mid-August as to whether she’ll teach or take a year leave of absence. Both options have their pros and cons – it’s going to take the summer to think, reflect, and decide what is best for Bree and our family. So after packing up her entire classroom in 2 days flat Bree is now more than ready to face a summer of playing at the park with Lydia and Micah, walks with Reuben, and lazy latte-filled mornings (that is when the “all-day sickness” doesn’t make coffee sound repulsive!)

Kids Korner
I am one! I turned one on April 2nd and I had a big “baseball themed” 1st birthday party. Mommy even made me my own cake to smash and eat all by myself. That was pretty awesome! I got really messy and was covered in buttercream frosting by the time they took the cake away and tossed me in the tub.
Just after my birthday I started walking (now I run!) and climbing EVERYTHING. Mommy and Daddy can’t turn their backs on me for a second. If they do, I’m off in another room pulling stuff off shelves, getting into cabinets, or attempting to climb something not safe. Mommy says one of these days I’m just going to climb out of my crib and walk out of my bedroom – I already know how to climb out of the tub so the crib is next!
Mommy and Daddy recently started cutting my hair. It’s still red, and even though it’s short I still have an attitude that matches my hair! Take something from me or tell me no and I’ll let you know what I think with a screaming fit – sometimes I even throw myself on the floor! It’s funny though, I don’t get what I want even with the fit… hmmmm… I guess I need to try another tactic!
I love Reuben! He is my buddy. He lets me climb all over him and when it’s eating time I sneak him pieces of food. He loves me for that and sits at my feet constantly. When we’re playing Reuben is really gentle and even though Reuben is 60+lbs heavier than me I can hold my own against him. We’re going to be buddies for a long time!

(partially dictated by Lydia) Hi everybody! I’m 4 now! I had a “Horton” birthday party and I invited my friends from “Miss Lisa’s.” My cake was really yummy. Mommy made it! The cake had Horton on it holding his clover and the speck. Mommy also made big clovers that are hanging from our ceiling. It was funny when Opa and Uncle Coco (Colin) would run into them. I really enjoyed opening my presents. Some of my favorites were my new “Guess Who” game, a new baby doll, and my first big girl bike.
This fall I’m going to go to preschool at “Miss Lisa’s” house. I’m super excited about that. My friends ZoĆ« and Rachel might go there too. I’ve already started to read short words and have had fun playing with “word families.” My mommy says I’m too smart and that she’s not sure what they’re going to do with me in kindergarten – whatever that means! J Some of my other favorite “school” things that I like to do is practice counting, combining numbers (adding!), and taking numbers apart (subtracting!) WOW!