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 :)