01 December 2010

Long overdue...

Well, as you can tell we haven't done too well keeping up with the blog.
With Lauren pregnant, working full-time, and in school and Micah being a full time student, working part-time, being on student council, and drilling with the Army - well we've barely had time for dinner many nights, let alone blogging.

We're nearing the end of school, so the next week and a half will be pretty stressful with finals and projects. Lauren is also getting bigger and it is harder and harder for her at work bending over, picking up kids, playing on the floor, and she comes home pretty wiped out. Micah can't seem to say "no" so he has added missions committee member and graduate school advocate to his list of activities.

So, PRAYER would be awesome. We are super excited for the holidays - we are spending a week at the beginning of January in MN. This will be a great time of R&R before school starts up again and baby enters the world.

Some highlights since our last posting...
We went home for a few days in October to visit family. We watched part of Jake's ranger challenge events and ceremony. We caught up with grandparents and friends. We enjoyed some good times with our parents too.

We've gotten involved with a small group at church - we love our church family and enjoy the community there!

God orchestrated everything amazingly with the church apartment. We got a great rate for rent and love having our very own actual, real bedroom! We just moved in two weeks ago with the help of our small group and Lauren's parents. Our small group helped us pack and clean our old apartment. Lauren's parents did lots of unpacking and some nitty gritty cleaning (thanks for serving us so lovingly and humbly! we love you!)

After a few hospital tours, we decided on the hospital to have the baby. It's only a few miles away too! The baby is healthy and growing fast (as Lauren bemoans her growing belly). Just two more months til its predicted birthday!

BIG NEWS! We paid off our car today! God blessed us with a little extra cash that we were able to use to pay off the car a few months early. Feels so great to be free of the burden of debt!

Hopefully as life calms down a little for the next few months, we'll have lots of blog updates to share!

25 September 2010

Ultrasound Photos

The ultrasound was pretty much dedicated to measurements and checking anatomy of the baby. So, most of the photos are pretty uninteresting or we don't even know what they are photos of. But, we got one 3D profile of the baby and a look at its foot prints.

3D profile of entire baby.
The baby's head is actually round, but it looks pretty bumpy in the photo.

Little Feet

23 September 2010

ULTRA sound!

Lauren is about 22 weeks along, and had her "last" ultrasound this afternoon after work! The baby looks great, has a healthy spine, brain, heart, and all fingers and toes are there, and the technician was pleased with everything she saw!
Of course, we asked not to disclose the gender to us, so the mystery continues!
We thank you for your continued prayers and support. Your emails, phone calls, and snail-mail letters of encouragement are continued blessings to us both! The Lord is faithful and has continued to give us energy when we were low, and has financially provided for us (giving us wisdom to balance our budget), despite our meager income!
We love you all and thank you once again for your prayers and support!
ps. check back later today, we'll have a couple pics posted from the ultrasound!

18 September 2010

30 day Cooking Plan

Today, Lauren decided to "throw together" a "few" meals that will last us the ENTIRE MONTH (for dinner)!
SO...we started the day by going to Dominican for Lauren's library class (Micah went with to study), then going to Aldi and Jewel for groceries (Aldi is CHEAP!)!

We made pizza, Micah studied, and he ordered Lauren a pair of (CHEAP) Puma shoes, to replace the ones that are falling apart on Lauren's cute feet!

Lauren spent the afternoon cooking, and Micah assisted anyway he could (basically freezing the finished products)! It was a busy day - but a good one! Enjoy the pics!

17 September 2010

Date Night at Vivo!

Being a Friday, I didn't have work or school...but Lauren did. This meant most of my day was consumed with cleaning the apartment, doing homework, and doing more homework!
We had a leaky kitchen sink, but today someone from the complex came over to replace the rusting pipe and install a new drain in the right sink. Problem solved!

When Lauren got home from work I told her that I wanted to take her out for the evening. It didn't much persuasion! We headed over to a fancy Italian restaurant called Vivo, near Lauren's work on the west loop. Why here? Well - it had good reviews...but I also had a Groupon for this place that I've been saving for a while! $60 worth of food for $20!

This restaurant is known for its famous converted elevator-shaft booth, which sits above the dining room, overlooking the restaurant! I guess Oprah Winfrey sat there before (but who cares!).

When we arrived, the whole place was practically empty! We were warmly greeted by the staff, and I asked if the elevator booth was open! Guess what?! It WAS! They totally let us eat there - velvet curtains and all!

The waiter Mike was great!
We ordered a grilled-asparagus appetizer, a beet salad, and then Lauren got a salmon pasta, while I ordered the gnocchi. Every plate was delicious! Our favorite was the gnocchi, so we switched plates so Lauren could enjoy it! The salmon pasta tasted like an entire fillet was cut up in there! It tasted more like a fish-dish than a pasta dish (which was quite alright with us)!

For dessert we had Chocolate obsession - just look at the picture and you'll know why that was amazing!

We took some great pics - so enjoy! We had a wonderful time and would recommend it to anyone who wanted to eat at a fun and good-tasting Italian restaurant!

oh - our bill came out to be $5.55 after the Groupon! Of course, we gave Mike a great tip - so we spent about $40 on a meal worth about $85!

16 September 2010

Menards, School, Sandwiches

I couldn't fall asleep last night, so I got up and made the best sandwiches! I threw some bread in the toaster, sprinkled some hand-shredded cheese when they popped up, spooned on some raw honey (thanks Mom and Dad Johnson!), sliced up an organic tomato from Dad's garden, then sprinkled a little basil on before SMOOSHING the pieces together! I made TWO of them! I slept well after that!

Today I had "A Theology of Intercultural Ministry." I think this is now my favorite class! Though top-heavy in reading, the class discussions have been deep and intellectually stimulating and challenging. I'm already looking forward to next week.

I had work for the rest of the morning, and told Patricia about some Menards sales that could save our department a little money :)

After work I met Lauren at school, and we hung out until she went to Student Wives Fellowship. I swung by Menards, picked up a NEW microwave for $25! Then I picked up Lauren, we went back to our place, set up the microwave, had a snack, then crashed!

15 September 2010

A day of blessing and worship

We had branch devotions this morning at Moody. I enjoy the time when our neighbor floors (Treasury/Operations; Donor Resources, etc.) get together to read God's Word and listen to others share their life stories.

I had a StuCo meeting as well this morning. Our team is full of bright ideas and visions. I would dare to say we have one of the most visionary student council groups that Moody has seen in a while! That being said, we still have a ways to go before we can focus our thoughts and agendas into having a coherent and manageable meeting. No worries though, as our StuCo Pres (Jason) - our fearless leader is on top of it!

After StuCo we had our grad school chapel, which ended up being a "worship" (music) and prayer chapel. I enjoyed the small groups, praying with students and professors together - praying for our school, the city of Chicago, and our nation - also thanking God for His glorious attributes and loving-kindness.

The rest of work went well - and Tyrome and I are planning a day to go skydiving! Maybe this weekend?!

I would like to share this video that I saw today - I love Rich's old song, and the tribute that Brandon Heath and Third Day produced. Enjoy!
- Micah
ps. be sure to click and view the video in HD! When you click play, click where it says "240" in the lower right corner and make it say "720"! BIG difference!

14 September 2010

Army Tuition application in!

Another excellent class and lab with Dr. Thrasher. I enjoy spending time in prayer with my fellow classmates, and learning about the attributes of my Lord and Savior.

FINALLY - I was able to get my Army tuition assistance (TA) application approved and submitted! I had to pay for my whole school bill by August 1st, so when I get this check from the Army - what a blessing that will be! The Army only offers $4500/year - and it looks like they only cover $250/credit. Moody is $340/credit, so that leaves me with paying $90/credit...but PRAISE the Lord I also have a Moody scholarship that will help alleviate this cost as well! Lauren and I are so blessed!

Thanks again for praying for us on a continual basis! God hears those prayers - and especially when we are persistent in them!

13 September 2010

Anya to MN?

I got word that my host family from Ukraine - my little sister Anya will be coming to MN for a while - starting in a few weeks! That's exciting!

Well - who likes to start their week at work on a Monday morning? I sure don't - but I'll tell ya - today wasn't that bad (it's never really "bad" at DRM!)!

The best part of the day was my Theology of the Gospels class w/ Dr. Green. I think this is my favorite class this semester. I enjoy soaking in the Word, and gleaning TONS of knowledge from my prof. It certainly keeps me awake and focused as I keep learning new and exciting things about God's Word - and it makes His Word so much more alive and active to me!

12 September 2010

Ft. McCoy Day 3

Not much sleep again - and had an early formation at 0530. Major Bradley introduced himself as the new commander of our rear det. company. I really enjoy his personality - seems very easy to communicate with when needed.

The rest of the morning was spent cleaning our barracks, eating breakfast, cleaning weapons (not me!), and preparing to leave WI! The buses arrived early, but because a weapon went unaccounted for - for about an hour, we left just a little after schedule. We made good time back to Darien, IL - and I was able to leave on time to make it to Bible study!
Lauren and I joined a cross-generational Bible study - and tonight was the first meeting! We will be meeting at a friend's condo every other week, where we will enjoy dinner (the husband is a professional chef) and study God's Word together! Lauren and I were blessed to meet some other church members that we previously had not met. We are also blessed to have Michael and Brittany in the same study as well! This is going to be a great semester/year!

11 September 2010

Ft. McCoy Day 2

I didn't sleep last night because I volunteered to guard some stuff all night. It was actually a rather enjoyable evening. CPT Jacob's and I got some pizza and 'dew, and had a late dinner with the two Sergeants that stayed up with us. We played a card game called "School Money" and spent some quality time hanging out. It was a great evening!
I knew the day was going to be long, but it actually went by faster than I anticipated!

CPT Jacobs and I drove around Ft. McCoy during some of the morning, learning the roads and seeing some the development. He closed a range and we watched many of the Soldiers trying to qualify on the ranges. I was able to spend a lot of time with these Soldiers - getting to know them and encouraging them in their qualification efforts.

Later that afternoon I went to CH Jenkins to the PX to get a haircut and to do some shopping. I saw the end of Richy Rich on TV while waiting for my cut! Good times! Remember that movie?! I love how the mom and dad had to sing to open the vault! And the vault had all of their "priceless" memories! No gold! Classic!

The best time of this whole weekend was when CPT Jacobs picked me up and brought me over to visit the FWD det of our unit (getting ready to deploy). They are on lock-down here, so they can't leave the Ft. I was thrilled to see SGT Sheets and SGT Gross and encourage them as they prepare to leave. I wish I could have spent more time with them...

We had Chapel later in the evening - about 2000 (8pm). Justin (the other CC) and I spent some time in prayer before chapel began, and I believe God blessed that.
We didn't have a large number arrive for chapel, but I knew that it was just as important that I was able to spend a lot of time with these Soldiers on base during this weekend. I also learned that many Soldiers were on detail during chapel...hmm...

The service itself went well. CH Jenkins spoke on Sampson, I offered a prayer - focusing on 9/11, did some music stuff, and Justin gave a benediction and also an opening prayer. Very interesting combination of CCs and CH. All of us are from totally different worship backgrounds!
Ok, so here's the best part! We didn't meet in a chapel defined by what one may call a chapel. Instead, we met in an office-style building, with a few desks and chairs. No steeples, crosses, or ornaments. But look at this picture of where we met!
Now read 1 Peter 2:24
See the connection?!! HA! And it was the only building around like it! So cool!
Anyway - that was my day! Sweet!

10 September 2010

Ft. McCoy Day 1

It's a Friday...the first of three days I will be training with my unit (the 863rd) up at Ft. McCoy. This is their semiannual weapons qualification that keeps them acclimated on using their weapons. Because we are the rear det, many of these Soldiers are back-up in case they need to replace someone that is deploying - so it is essential that our Soldiers stay in top-notch with the accuracy of their weapons.
We met at 0700 at Darien and took two buses up to Ft. McCoy, WI. The trip wasn't as long as the last time, though I was scarred for life by a movie they played. I'm not even going to tell you the title because it may scar someone else. All I have to say is, next time there won't be a next time because I will be vetoing anything like that again (which might upset many, but...that's life). Thank God we didn't get through the whole movie, but I'm sure the plot would have only gotten worse.
We arrived with the whole afternoon to get the Soldiers out on the field to zero their weapons. This means that the Soldiers have a chance to align their sights by firing a few rounds. They need to do this in order to have accurate shots during the actual weapons qualification segment. Believe it or not, a few Soldiers were able to both zero AND qualify today! CPT Jacobs said he has never seen that before! Sweet!
I met a unit from our brigade from Ft. Snelling, MN! Who knows! I might actually be transferred there one day! I met and spent some time with the new LTC there - LTC Banks! Great guy! A little intimidated by the cold of MN, but he'll only be there a couple years! His Soldiers really respect and admire him (as do I). I also met the CSM (Command Sergeant Major). I forget her last name (probably a good thing), but very "on top of things" and a "go-to" NCO. She always had a plan and backup plan. She also carried around a PVC pipe...and told me I needed a haircut (not afraid to approach the officers obviously)! My hair was JUST starting to touch the top of my I promised to get one the next day!
All in all - a great day! I had a LOT of time to meet and spend time with the Soldiers - that was the best part! OK - now enjoy this video made by a friend from CH-BOLC. The imitations are hilarious - but they won't make sense if you weren't at CH-BOLC with me! CH Jenkins could relate because almost all of the Cadre were there when she was there last year!
After clicking play, be sure to click on the numbers in the lower right hand corner and increase the resolution to HD (720)!

09 September 2010

Save Big $ @ Menards!

I didn't feel well this much so that I called off work in the morning. It was really a blessing because that meant that I could enjoy having breakfast with Lauren! That was really neat! She let me have the car for the day too - in case I wanted to just drive to work/school a little bit later.
I felt a little better later in the day, so I drove over to Menards to pick up a couple things that we needed, and a bunch of things that we didn't! But let me explain! Menards has a lot of "free" items in their weekly catalogs that come back in the form of rebate checks. You need to buy $10 worth of non-rebated items before you qualify. So I needed some of that orange hand-soap that removes grease, as well as a small level for our photo frames. I already had a rebate check - so I hardly spent a thing as I took away TONS of stuff for free from there! I will just get another rebate check to replace the one I had! Some of the stuff I got include:
window/tile caulk (6 tubes), shelving liner (keeps stuff from sliding or falling), WD-40 pens (sweet stuff), mini blinds (believe it or not!), food storage containers, utility blades, a ton of sandpaper, microfiber towels, and much more!
Then - I started feeling better and went to work (go figure)! It was a good day - but I am not looking to being away from Lauren for the whole weekend...
OH! I almost forgot! The evening was spent at Moody - eating my Chiptole (leftover from yesterday!), and going to Student Wives Fellowship with Lauren!
Once a month the husbands are allowed to join for dessert and fellowship! Tonight, Dean Jelinek and his wife spoke on marriage! It was great! We took off a little early though because Lauren missed the free dinner (because of work) - so we went home to get her food!

08 September 2010

Chapel, Chipotle, and Microwave!

Today was great! First we had a wonderful chapel - with an incredible testimony given by our Honorable StuCo Pres, Jason LaLonde. It brought me to tears, as I had no idea of God's orchestration in his life. It was powerful stuff.

Later in the afternoon, Chiptole had a BOGO offer for Moody students - so I trotted on down there (about 10 minutes walk) to get TWO veggie burrito bowls (with the tortillas on the side)! Less mess, free guac, and easier to eat! Plus I had one now for the next day's dinner!
I got back to Moody, ate in the StuCo room (where I do h/w a lot now), and found an offer on craigslist for a microwave! It was located right by Chipotle - so I went back, picked up a SWEET microwave and brought it back! I encountered some great expressions on the way back while carrying it! I even ran into Michael and Brittany again!
Sweet day!

07 September 2010

Cell phone transfers and additions!

Michael and Brittany joined the AT&T Family Plan with me today! I moved Charles and Lydia over to Jacob's account to save him money (did that yesterday), then Michael and I walked over to the AT&T store down the street from Moody to add him and his wife on my account. They got some sweet new phones and now we're a family! yay!

06 September 2010

Labor Day - coming home!

Lauren and I woke up really early from her parents house so we could get an early start on the road back to Chicago. Before we left though, we were blessed to have breakfast with both parents (Micah's side and Lauren's side) in Hudson at a Christian bagel shop. The food was amazing and the fellowship was even better! It was great to be united with our families together once-more, and it is sad that we always feel rushed when we're together! But it was wonderful to have them pray for us and bless us with their presence (they also bought breakfast for us)!
On the road trip home - Micah drove the whole way! :) We stopped for dinner at CHICK-FIL-A in Racine, WI! It was totally on the way and we totally had coupons for free sandwiches there! Guess what! We got MORE coupons for free sandwiches after visiting! The free food and fun just doesn't stop! The trip was totally worth it right there!
We got home in the early evening, I quick called AT&T to take care of some stuff, then Lauren and I went to Michael and Brittany's for dinner! We had a wonderful time with a lot of our Moody friends. The dinner was awesome, the games were fun (even though my team lost each time), and the fellowship was the best!

05 September 2010

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today is the day BEFORE my dad's birthday! Lauren and I missed church (we slept in at Lauren's parents in Hudson), but we made it for college group at church!
After church we all went to OLD CHICAGO to celebrate my dad's birthday! The food was AMAZING (our favorite Hawaiian pizza is here), but the fellowship was even BETTER!

We were joined by most everyone in the family and had a great time together.
Later that afternoon Lauren and I took a nap, then met our cousins at the State Fair! We walked around, ate a snow cone (actually that was all Lauren) and some fries, then joined our cousins again at the grandstand to watch the amateur talent show! Sweet stuff!
Check out this video of the beatboxer! Press play, then click on the numbers on the lower right hand corner to view in HD (720)! The comment at the end is great!

Lauren caught a T-shirt too! We gave it to Jessica! Check the pic!

After the show (we left early), we met up with Barry Valentine to ride in his bus! It was fun to catch up with him for a few minutes! He's been a great friend and a good mentor!

04 September 2010

Alisha's wedding and more!

I woke up early this morning and went over to CSF to help with the big international student furniture give-away! It was great to see a lot of old friends and make new ones!
I also spent some time with Janet next door as well. She misses the relationships that she used to have with CSF - so it was nice to catch up and rekindle our friendship. She showed me a bunch of handmade cards that she has been making with her church, and she also showed me her chair that I gave her - she had it reupholstered! Before I left, she let me pray for her as well. It was wonderful to see her again (and her cat Ziggy)!

Meanwhile - Lauren has been getting ready for her friend Alisha's wedding. Check out the fine pics of my beautiful bride! The pastor that married Alisha was really neat! A very godly man, who studied at NWC, is originally a pastor from Africa, and is ministering here in the Hudson area now. It was really neat to meet him and learn his story (Pastor Jacob Oreso)!

03 September 2010

First day back in MN/WI!

Well we finally arrived to Hudson late last night! I crashed in bed with my clothes still on and was out in seconds!
I woke up refreshed and ready to go! We had a nice breakfast with Lauren's family, hung out for a while in Hudson, then Cindy made an appointment for me to visit Dr. Fabel - our family dentist. I had this tooth fragment that was growing through my gum and jutting into my tongue. I think it was left over from my wisdom tooth extraction a few months back. He was excited to see Lauren and me, so we left to go see him! It was fun to catch up with him and he extracted this fragment for FREE! Oh man that was such a blessing! He is really an amazing dentist!
After that, we met up with Lydia and Ariel and visited the new Library near Lydia's apartment in Roseville! We had coffee at Dunn Bros, then went over to surprise Dad at the Olive Garden, where my side of the family was meeting to celebrate an early birthday dinner with my grandpa. They weren't expecting to see us - so it was fun to stop and say hi!

Lauren and I then went back to Hudson to spend time with her family. We went to Culvers, got some ice cream, then relaxed for the evening. I pretty much crashed once again!

02 September 2010

time to drive to WI/MN!

Lauren and I were SUPPOSED to drive to WI as soon as work was over this afternoon, but, "they" scheduled a mandatory meeting 2 hours AFTER work (which meant she had to stick around for two hours not getting paid), and the meeting didn't get over until 9PM!!! CRAZY! You can read yesterday's post to get more info on that....
needless to say - we didn't take off until well after the drive to WI took all night...I crashed in Hudson exactly at 4am...sleepy time :)

30 August 2010

Another Monday - and some gripes about my wife's job!

I had work today until 1pm - then had a quick lunch quick consisted of string cheese, an apple, and some carrots! Next was Dr. Green's class in Theology of the Gospels. I'm really enjoying this class so far.
Lauren picked me up after work so we could take something back to Target and pick up a few things for our taco dinner tonight!
That's about it.
I'm getting more disappointed with Lauren's work (I'll post the name of the work after she quits in December - just so she doesn't get in trouble). For one thing, Lauren had a PERFECT review not too long ago, but it seems like the investors and powers-that-be like to take advantage of their "perfect" employees (and everyone else working there as well). Here is a critical review of this company (which I still do admire for their "eco-friendly" focus).

"Lauren's Job" gripes:
1. No can can get raises until they reach a 95% capacity. Since they are probably already profiting (big-time I would guess) this is ridiculous. I've never heard of a job that would do something like that! Are these investors money hungry or what?!

2. Lauren was granted vacation for this Friday (a long time ago) - YET, they are holding a mandatory meeting Thursday night - 2 hours AFTER work! They just announced this meeting 2 weeks ago when Lauren has had permission for MONTHS!
This means that their workers have to PUNCH OUT, then COME BACK to work for a mandatory meeting! What in the world?! Is this high-school?! It's one thing to have a quick briefing immediately following work, but to have a meeting 2 hours AFTER work is just insane! It's basically wasting 2 hours of everyone's time as they hang out in the area waiting for the meeting to happen! PLUS, the director is fully aware of Lauren's vacation the following day. They also know that Lauren and I are DRIVING back that NIGHT - so where is the sensitivity?! Do they want our baby to get hurt in some late-night accident?!

3. There is only a 10% discount for employees who want to have their children taken care of here! TEN PERCENT! So it would cost Lauren 20,000 dollars to take our child there! Um - so Lauren works full-time and that would pay just for 1 child?! HA! Can we say "PATHETIC"!

Conclusion: Obviously "Lauren's job" in Chicago is not a Christian-based organization, and therefore sets no standards that would cater to the needs of others instead of themselves. Of course we shouldn't be surprised when we see companies with potential act as greedy, selfish, worldly, and power-hungry as "Lauren's Job". It gives me joy to think that even though I don't make very much at Moody Bible Institute, the entire institute's goal is to serve Christ. This involves constantly putting others first, seeking to educate their students with tuition-free education, and ministering to thousands of people world-wide through various means.
Tell me how many places get together 10 minutes a day to thank the Lord for our students, employees, and institute!
Ok - I'm done! This is all my personal griping - not Lauren's :)
p.s. BIG congrats to my mom who started her new job today as Observatory Coordinator! WOW! God is AWESOME! For those of you who don't know, my mom left Meadow Creek Christian School (now Legacy Christian Academy) for some sad reasons (mostly because they took away her classes and gave her ones that she is not qualified in). Oh yeah - there are also some other sad things going on there too... :(
SO - all that to say, God blessed her with TWO amazing jobs! Both are flexible, allowing my mom to teach students with the gifts that God has given her, AND they pay better than Meadow Creek (probably not by much, but hey it reminds me of God having vindication from Psalms you know)?! what a BLESSING!

29 August 2010

Table Built! MC (mission completed)!

We went to church today and enjoyed worshiping God with our church family. The pastor today was Victor - he spoke about Christ becoming sin for us ("The Monster Christ")

After church Lauren and I hung out w/ Michael and Britt for a while, met Pastor Victor, then looked at our possible future apartment next to First Free! Please keep us in your prayers as we wait to hear if we can move into this apartment before year's end, and that the rent will be affordable for us!

The weather was SO warm today! We went to Menards, bought a piece of lumber, went to Aldi to buy a bunch of frozen fruit, then went home to make smoothies and a table! Check out the pictures!

I have a lot of homework this week. PLEASE keep us in your prayers, for health, sleep, homework completed, gracious professors, and to follow the Lord's calling in all that we do!

28 August 2010

First Saturday 2010!

Today was a LONG but glorious day!
This was Moody's annual grad student retreat - but this time it was a one-day event, and it was hosted....that's right...on campus! Not really a "get-away" retreat, but a one-day event that was designed for students to meet the new ones, rekindle old friendships, and interact with our energetic professors and faculty! This year's theme is "Holy...Expectant...Zealous" based off of Titus 2.
The morning started with the Student Council (aka StuCo) showing up to the Solheim gym - which was LOCKED! It took a while for public safety to finally get over there to open up, so we had to get moving as soon as we got in! I was hoping and praying that this was the only "glitch" in the day!
The breakfast food was quickly arranged, the worship team started practicing, and the registration table started getting organized as well. Lauren came with and helped us get ready! She was really an incredible asset!
Finally the time came! Many students arrived early so they were anxious to get checked in! We handed out colored bandannas to classify each group (organized by major/focus). We also had a professor assigned to each group as well!
The breakfast was a big hit! Way to go team! The worship team had a great set of songs and it was awesome just coming together to corporately worship the Lord as one body of students.
Lauren ended up providing the child-care (sorry sweetheart)! She was so good about it too! Even though she does this for her full-time job, she totally went in there and took care of the kiddos! She was well-loved!
Dr. Nyquist and our new provost spoke, as well as our very own Dean Jelinek!
Next came an introduction to our international students - 40 countries! Students came down and lined up carrying their country's flag!
Prayers were given in thanks, and then a rotation of sports and games commenced for the afternoon!
We were supposed to have Edwardo's pizza for lunch, but we found out last minute that Events and Guest Services never placed the order!!!! So - praise God Dominoes down the street made 33 pizzas in less than an hour (with only one man on the job)! So - what could have been a major disaster was averted! Praise the Lord!
After lunch, more games took place, then later on, the students took a walk to the old water tower downtown to sing praises together. Then they made their way up to Lincoln Park where a dinner was waiting for them, as well as a time for worship, prayer, and communion (done in the small groups by the professors). It was an amazing day and I was blessed to be a part of it! See the slideshow and video to follow!

27 August 2010

Future Apartment?! "What If..."

This morning I took the bus up to First Free for two reasons:
1. I normally help out with website stuff on Friday mornings, and
2. I had a meeting with our interim finance guy Duncan. You see, First Free owns the apartment complexes next to them and one of them just opened up! They are currently renovating it, but I expressed our interest in wanting to move close to church, and with more room for our child when he/she arrives.
The slideshow below shows the brief I had. Please pray that, if it is the Lord's will, that Lauren and we can move here - and at an affordable rate!

After my meeting I headed over to school to help set-up for the big "First Saturday" event for our grad students tomorrow! BIG weekend coming up!

Lauren joined me in the evening for a free screening of "What If" - which is basically a remake of "Family Man" - Christian-style! My friend Tom McElroy was in the film :)

26 August 2010

Student Wives Ice Cream Social

Husbands were invited to the first Student Wives Fellowship get-together of the semester! They had ICE CREAM! Lauren and I enjoyed meeting new people and also connecting with old friends!
The best part was - they had a raffle - and Lauren WON! We got this SWEET afghan with Moody's WMBI radio on it! That was awesome!

25 August 2010

School and StuCo!

I am really enjoying my classes...except Greek 3 is making me tremble! I might have to put this off until the spring modular (I'm going to die either way though)!

So - the StuCo (student council) has a tiny little room that has been used in the past as a storage area and as a make-shift study area. I took some time today to clean and organize as much as I could! I felt pretty happy with myself when I got the room looking halfway decent! I also noticed that one of our ceiling fixtures wasn't turning on when I flipped the switch. I put in a work order (which was fun!), and they determined that it needed a new ballast! So - it'll probably be a couple weeks until that gets fixed. I think I'm going to get a printer, mini fridge, and microwave for this room - so I can chill in here on breaks and downtime and study (as well as do StuCo stuff as well)!

23 August 2010

Wedding watch broke... and first day of school!

First day of class today! I think I'm really going to enjoy Dr. Green's class on the Theology of the Gospels!

Lauren gave me a watch when I proposed to her. It broke, and we sent it in to get fixed. Unfortunately, we received a letter from them today stating that they couldn't fix it because they don't sell that watch anymore!
The good news is - they let us pick out a new watch - the same value as the last one! So we sat down and picked out a nice one! :)

22 August 2010

Visit from Lauren's Dad!

Lauren's dad came to visit us (and to ensure Lauren's safety home), so we partied by eating at a sushi place across the street, feasting on delicious ice cream, and snacking on fresh french fries! It was a great evening with Dad!
Enjoy the slideshow!

21 August 2010

School soon!

I ordered a bunch of my books today...including $100 for another Logos program for Greek 3! It's going to be a crazy semester!
The student council has been getting ready for our big upcoming retreat as well! NEXT WEEKEND!
Also today - I started working on making a table for our kitchen! It's nothing incredibly amazing - but's solid and gets the job done! Four 2x4s (I only have two right now) and a big sheet of plywood! At least we have more room to set things down! :)
Lauren is up in WI for a bachelorette party for her friend Alisha. It sounds like her dad will be driving with her home tomorrow! So that will be fun to see him for a day!

19 August 2010

Grandma Camplin's Heart....

Grandma Camplin's heart was off-sync, so today they had to do a cardio-fusion - basically shocking it to put it back in rhythm. Praise the Lord it worked and she's beginning to already feel more energy coming back!

18 August 2010

DRM "meeting"! aka Unicorn Day

DRM (work) had a lunch "meeting" today! The first project was for us to get in groups of 3 or 4. We each had a piece of paper with a penciled outline. Every team had to fill in the outline with the provided colored markers. Our picture looked like it was lacking a little bit, so Tyson drew....a UNICORN to add some dimension and flavor to our picture! What we DIDN'T realize was that each team had a piece that connected to the other drawings! So in the end, we all had to COMBINE our drawings into one BIG drawing (see pictures)! The point was that - we all have different tasks and gifts, but in the end, we all need to work together to see the big picture! Problem was - we added a unicorn! We ALSO converted our cloud into a SUN! So we had two suns and a unicorn in the picture! Can we say our group was a little....independent?! :) haha!!

I also had a meeting with Military Ministries afterwards to discuss a possible internship at the Great Lakes Naval Base! We'll see where the Lord leads!

17 August 2010

Dan and Summer have another one! Date Night with Lauren!

My cousin Dan and his wife Summer had another child this morning!
Cali Joy Nystrom, born at 7:20 AM, 20.5 inches long! Super exciting stuff!

Work was good...I had a long lunch break, so I was able to meet up with Anya and Sophia once more - we went to Portillo's for lunch, and I introduced them to Chicago's famous hotdogs! Again - Anya's not a big fan of

Later, after work, I took Lauren out for a super awesome date night! We went to Dave and Busters (right by Moody), had dinner, and played UNLIMITED video games all night long! We totally conquered Terminator and played virtually every racing game and shoot-em-up game they had! It was SWEET!!!! And she loved it too ;)

16 August 2010

Anya visits Chicago!

Monday night - Anya (my host sister from Ukraine) texted me and said she wanted to visit me, along with her friend Sophia. I didn't realize that she has been in Chicago for a while already! So - Monday evening after work, Anya and her friend met Lauren and me at the blue line near our place. We showed them our (tiny) studio, offered them some (strong) ice tea (too much tea, not enough sugar), then went for a walk around the neighborhood. Anya was shy and didn't want her picture taken - but she's the one in the background! I told them I would try to have lunch with them the next day during my break at Moody.

15 August 2010

NAE Chaplain's Conference - Day 04

The last day of the conference...though sad, I'm excited to see my wife soon!
We had breakfast again at the hotel (still just as good!), then made our way to the C&MA headquarters for worship. I helped out with the music part (I of those rare occasions you'll see me in that position!) and set-up.

It was sad to say goodbye to many of the friends that I made over the weekend, but it will be good to be home as well!
On a funnier note - my dad sent this to me, enjoy!

14 August 2010

NAE Chaplain's Conference - Day 03

Again - another amazing day filled with joy, encouragement, and company!
Breakfast was just as amazing as the day before (maybe even more-so).
We had individual training by endorser today. Even though the NAE endorses both the EFCA and C&MA, each group is its own endorser under the NAE umbrella. So the NAE group is what I am a part of. We met together in a small group (totally packed it out), was blessed by Paul Vicalvi's message ("The Glory of God & and the Law):

After this time of fellowship, I met quick with the EFCA endorser to practice in the music band for the following morning. Right after this I met....PASTOR CALL for lunch! Pastor Call was my old pastor from Grace Church in Roseville, MN. He is now "retired" here in CO Springs with his family. It was wonderful to catch up with him over buffalo burgers across the street. He took me around the city and gave me a brief tour, then brought me to his new home so I could see Mrs. Call as well! We had a great time!
Shortly after this I had a tour to the Garden of the gods. After this was a banquet at the AirForce Academy - with our speaker being The Honorable Allen Clark. There was a wedding reception going on behind the portable walls, so it was a bit distracting - but over all, the banquet was great!
After the banquet, I got a ride with Jeremy and Julia and picked up a shake from Chick-Fil-A! Great way to end the day!

13 August 2010

NAE Chaplain's Conference - Day 02

It was a blessed day - with our sessions given by HB London (a vice president to Focus on the Family). They were very encouraging and uplifting sessions. Well - let me back up! The breakfast that day was INCREDIBLE! Omelets made-to-order! Buffet! Yum!
We then had 3 sessions given by HB London. You can view these sessions RIGHT here with the embedded video code I will paste:
Session 1: The Joy of Our Calling:

Session 2: Dedication to Our Calling:

Session 3: Our Calling and Our Family (I liked this one)

We had a delicious Qdoba lunch buffet in-between sessions out by the pool of one of the hotels.
After the sessions we were given a tour of Biblica - formerly the International Bible Society. We were able to view old Bibles (see pictures) and hear from Mark Rader (the director) and others. We were also given some fantastic resources to take along with us!
In the evening, many of us went to the Flying W Ranch - a place where you step back into time and experience western culture, food, rodeo stuff, and watch a live concert! To be honest, I spent most of my time there in one place, talking to some former Golden Gopher (MN) alumni Chaplains!
It was a fantastic day, and many friends and connections were made!
Enjoy the pictures and video!

12 August 2010

NAE Chaplain's Conference - Day 01

I have been blessed with an opportunity to attend a chaplain's conference, hosted by my endorser (the NAE) and fellow endorsers under the NAE umbrella (C&MA and EFCA). The conference is being held in Colorado Springs, CO from Thursday-Sunday. I packed early this morning for the trip :)
I took the el to downtown, and from there I took the Orange to Midway. The flight was smooth with no issues. I only brought carry-ons so check-in wasn't an issue. I forgot I had my little Army toiletry kit with me, but it went through without a hitch!
I was blessed to have a USO at Midway that I could relax in for a while before my flight. Everyone was very friendly and accommodating!
The flight went to Denver, so while I waited for my connecting flight to CO Springs, I noticed a USO in Denver as well! This one was SWEET! Plenty of recliners, snacks, and amazing hospitality by the volunteers.
The flight to CO Springs took all of FIFTEEN MINUTES! It was hilarious! I was up and down before I knew it!
When we arrived I met our van driver (John) - he gave me the "chaplain sign" to hold for the other arrivals so that he could stay with the van. The ride to the hotel was pretty quick, and it was fun to finally meet my endorser Paul Vicalvi in person! The ice cream social in the evening was great, and I made a lot of new connections, and also saw some guys that I met while at CH-BOLC last month. It was a really great evening to connect! Jeremy Quigley and his wife Julia, along with their daughter Zoey, were able to attend the conference as well! The Quigley's are from Moody, so that was a fun connection to have!
The bed in my hotel room is awesome! There is a dial on both side of the bed to adjust the firmness/softness! Pretty sweet! I'm looking forward to what this weekend brings!

11 August 2010

Dinner with friends!

I had a StuCo meeting over lunch today to try to hash out a few more details for this upcoming retreat. I feel like there are a LOT more kinks that need to be worked out before I'll feel comfortable putting my "stamp of approval" on this event! But I am confident that God will be with us in our planning, and that this will be very successful.
Lauren and I were both excited to see our friends Nicolas and Lindsey for dinner in the evening. Nicolas just got married to his bride the weekend I returned from basic. They just finished getting settled into their new apartment in Chicago, so we were honored to be their first official guests! Boy did we have a great time! Nicolas cooked a very tasty French meal for us all. The appetizers were tasty too, and we really enjoyed their company and fellowship. We played Balderdash for a while after dinner and also enjoyed a tasty treat that Lindsey whipped up! We are very blessed to have friends like Nicolas and Lindsey - and we are thankful for their hospitality and fun we had that night! Thanks guys!!! :)
Tomorrow morning I leave for a chaplain conference in CO Springs, hosted by the NAE, the Missionary Alliance, and the EFCA! I'm super stoked to go, to meet new people, connect with old friends, and get some nuggets to assist me in my growth as a CC!

10 August 2010

Working and cleaning

I spent most of today working (like normal), but also trying to continue cleaning up the apartment. There were still a couple boxes just sitting around, but I was able to finally take care of those! Now my next project is to built a table for the kitchen. I think I'll work on that next weekend (after my trip to CO Springs this coming weekend).

09 August 2010

Back to work...without Brittney...

It was a sad day - the first day without Brittney at DRM. We mourned her loss silently as we pressed forward in our daily duties. The happy news is that I chatted with her online - just like old times!
I'm also not scanning much anymore...which is interesting. I suppose they're trying to get me back into doing other mail processing stuff again for this upcoming semester.

But - it was a good day overall - nothing crazy!

08 August 2010

The trip back to Chicago

Lauren and I left in the morning to head back to Chicago. But before we left her parents and sister hooked us up with some good food to take along for our kitchen! We got some awesome veggies from Dad's garden, and Dani's leftovers from before she moves off to Mexico, and some other odds and ends as well!
On the way home we also stopped at Ft. McCoy to shop at the Commissary. We got some great deals there on food, and stocked up a big more - gotta love tax free and cheap food!
We had lunch just outside the base at a little pizza place which was a lot of fun as well! We might even make that a regular stop every time we drive by!
Lauren also called ahead to her aunt Tammy and we were able to stop over there for dinner as we got closer to home! It was fun to catch up with her and Dayton, see the dogs, and take a break from the driving!
Before the day was over, we had arrived back home. Of course the humidity wasn't very much fun in an apartment with no A/C, but we are surviving (and saving money)! Please pray though that God opens up a door for us to live somewhere a little bigger by the time our baby arrives! :) Though - I personally am content knowing that He will in His own time - and I am enjoying our place as long as we have it! :)
PS. If you click on the car picture, notice the dog sleeping on the top of the back seat!

07 August 2010

Reunion, Family, Friends, and Ice Cream!

It was a long, but very fun and enjoyable day!
Lauren and I stayed over last night at Uncle Roger's house in Osseo, WI. It was really good to see him again, and we enjoyed spending some extra time with him. In the morning, Doug (my first cousin, once removed), and his son Sam (my 2nd cousin) came to see Uncle Roger as well. Lauren and I stuck around a little while longer before driving a mile down the road to help get ready for the big Olson Family Reunion at Forrest and Ramona's! We had a really great time there, seeing people that we haven't seen in quite a while! It was also a blessing to spend more time with Grandma Sonia and Auntie Pam as well!
Around 2pm, Lauren and I left the reunion to drive to Minneapolis. We stopped at Arthur's Jewelers to get Lauren's ring cleaned and inspected, then met my family at the Green Mill at Rosedale for dinner. We celebrated Grandma Mc's birthday there and had a joyous time of fellowship with the family!
After dinner we checked out Ariel's new apartment and visited Penny as well! She has a really great place! We really enjoyed it! Next, we drove to Jacob's apartment by the UofMN. He and Kristen also have a nice place! They were still unpacking a lot of stuff, so it will be fun to see when everything is unpacked and organized as well!
Our daylight was running out and we still wanted to spend some time with Lauren's family, so we called to meet them in Stillwater at Nelson's ice cream! They are known for their famous Lumberjack!
As we were on our way out of the UofMN, we saw JB's Mustang driving by!!!! What in the world?!!! So we called them, and it turns out they were on their way to find Jacob's apartment to say hi! BUT, my siblings all decided that they wanted to join us at Nelson's, so they already left the apartment - so JB and Katie decided to come along for the fun! It was GREAT! So now all of my siblings and our best friends in the area came with us to an ICE CREAM place (one of the best things to eat while fellowshipping)! We met the Johnson family in Stillwater and ordered the famous LUMBERJACK! We were determined to conquer it (like I had last year)!
The ice cream was great! But, as it starting getting melty, and people started playing with their food, I got grossed out towards the end and couldn't finish the mission! But it's alright - we had a great time!
Thanks to everyone who joined us that evening to spend some more time with us! We wish we could have spent even longer with you all!
Lauren and I ended up spending the night in Hudson since it was already "that much closer" to Chicago in the morning!

06 August 2010

Chick-Fil-A and Brittney's Last Day

I ended up going to work this morning - even though I didn't have to. I had to see Brittney on her last day! Over the past several months (and longer - basically since Loren Rugen worked here), we have been collecting stamps from the envelopes we get, and Brittney put them all in a sweet, handmade, stamp book! It was certainly a bittersweet day. Lauren made a cake a few days ago, and when we realized that we couldn't finish it - we gave it to Tyrome to take off our hands! Thanks bro!

I left after the morning work was over. The rest of the employees celebrated "Employee Appreciation Day" - but I already maxed out my hours! So I decided to appreciate the rest of my Friday morning/afternoon running errands and cleaning the apartment!

After Lauren was done with work - we met my DRM friends (sorry - we're more than just "DRM friends" - that sounds so "professional-like"!) and we drove up to WISCONSIN to get some righteous chicken sandwiches! In case you didn't know, Chick-Fil-A is a Christian-owned chicken fast food joint, who closes their doors on Sundays. The food is actually really tasty too! I had my first experience at CH-BOLC (if you remember that blog)! The drive was crazy during rush-hour, but TOTALLY worth it! It was a great way to end the week - though it was tough to finally say the word "goodbye" to Brittney. But, as MWS put it best, "Friends are friends forever" :)
To top things off though - as we stood outside the mall, one of the employees from Chick-Fil-A came out and gave us ALL FREE CHICKEN SANDWICH COUPONS! So we HAVE to go back!!!! Enjoy the slideshow!

05 August 2010

TA and peanut butter bars (and $125)

I applied for Army tuition assistance and am hoping that comes in soon! I put all of my tuition on my credit card for now - but it sounds like I won't get the money from the Army (OR the scholarship from Moody) until September!
BUT - bless God, I am getting my per diem from basic training in the next few days, and that will pay off half my credit card bill! The other half might have to come out of savings for now (basically everything in there!), but I am confident the Lord will continue to provide as He always does!
I made peanut butter bars today - secret recipe :) I made them mostly because of Britt's last day tomorrow which I might not be there for. I made the peanut butter from scratch (woah - just grinded peanuts in the Vitamix), as well as the powdered sugar. The rest is a mystery to many :)
After work, I set up a checking account w/ Chase - for the primary purpose to deposit cash (Schwab can't do that over snail-mail), and to get a $125 bonus for signing up! Good stuff!

04 August 2010

Never a dull moment!

Today's Groupon was for Flattop Grill - a REALLY good stir-fry place that Lauren and I had been to with our friends Kelly and Nicolas in May. The Groupon SOLD OUT after over 10,000 had sold!
My friend Keith Mayer returned from Ukraine today - I have lost count on how many times he has been there! Probably 3 times as many times as me! I hope to go back someday soon.
Also - today as work, I had the opportunity to help escort some of the seniors who were evacuated from Jenkins, back into Jenkins to recover some of their belongings. In case you didn't know, Jenkins is Moody's married housing (mostly). It also housed many elderly folks as well - because they lived there when Moody acquired the building years ago. So - there was an electrical fire that broke out and everyone had to be evacuated to the student dorms. Praise God it's summer and that we had a place to put everyone! But PLEASE pray that Moody is able to complete the repairs before school starts and everyone moves back! It is good that we are able to minister to these folks in this capacity (giving them housing, free food, etc), so I consider that to be a blessing. But please pray that this won't turn into a nightmare for the returning students! If you want to read about it more - click here! And if you feel led to donate to the financial support effort, click here!
Well - that's about it! Kye said goodbye to Brittney today, because Kye won't be around later this week for Britt's last day. So I took a picture :)
- Mc

03 August 2010

DRM Cake!

We had a surprise today from Paul Currie - DRM's partner in Stewardship. He brought DRM a cake, thanking us for our work and effort in - all of the work and effort we put in! :)
Also, Melissa brought in AMAZING cheese curds from WI! They were SQUEAKY!

ALSO, Nick and Lindsey came to visit me - since Nick came to Moody to register for classes! So that was pretty sweet!