Thursday, June 29, 2006

Day 14

Day: 14
Trip Odometer: 3,824
Books Aubrey has read: 327 (estimate)
Location: State College, PA, Jackson's house.

We have made it to the final stop along our journey. We got into State College last night around 7:30, just in time for dinner. Jackson was already in bed so we didn't get officially introduced until this morning. He's very cute. Hannah had a doctor's appointment this morning so Aubrey and I are babysitting. Jack is snoozing so we're mostly just sitting.

Tuesday was a great day in Chicago. We only got to see downtown by quick driving tour, but the highlight was our trip to Wrigley Field. We got to the stadium about 3 hours early. So we found a parking spot and still had 20 minutes before the game started. Well not quite, but close. The cheapest parking we could find said $15, but $15 only got you a spot were you would get blocked in by the next car. One of the spots you could pull out of cost $20. What a racket. We ponied up and walked around Clark & Addison for a while. Took some photo's and went in to watch some batting practice. The game was great, we had good seats up the 3rd base line, and there was good action. Zambrano pitched a solid 8 innings and hit a 2 run HR. The Cubs took the lead into the 9th inning, but were in Classic form, and completely and utterly fell apart in the ninth. They committed 2 errors and gave up 4 runs in the 9th to preclude any chance of winning. Oh well. Aubrey and I have seen the Cubs in person 3 times, with 3 losses. Maybe its us. Which wouldn't explain the other 1,304,895 losses.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Day Ten

After our marathon car ride of Day nine, we awoke on Sunday and decided that we just didn't have enough driving. So we hit the road about 8 am to drive for another 1.5 hrs to go and visit Jeff's seminary roommate and good friend, Mark Jicinsky. Mark is the pastor of Ebenezer Reformed Church of Leighton, IA. Just in case some of our readers have never heard of Leighton (which would be a complete shocker) it is located Southwest of Iowa City, about 1.5 hrs from there, and about 45 minutes from Des Moines. The "town" is about 5-6 streets wide and 3-4 streets wide, and is surrounded by farms. It really is a beautiful area, and Ebenezer Reformed Church was a great place to visit. I finally got to meet a few more of Jeff's relatives, his cousins Lois and Arlan, which was a treat for me. Everyone at church was quite friendly, and introduced themselves to us, making us feel very at home. The area around Leighton is full of people of Dutch descent, and here is listing of some of the last names of people who attend Ebenezer: Kerndt, Veldhuizen, Van Maanan, Bogaard, Ver Ploeg, Van Haaften, De Jong, Overbergen, Nunnikhoven, Ver Meer and Van Waardhuizen. Mark preached a good sermon from 1st Peter, and it was great seeing Mark's wife, Cara, who is expecting the birth of their first child, Ella Grace, at any moment. We ate a good lunch made by Lois, then visited the metropolis of Pella (near Leighton) before making our way back to Iowa City. We had heard great things about the bakery in Pella, but sadly it was closed and so we weren't able to buy any Dutch Letters, (whatever those are.) Then it was back to Iowa City, where we walked around downtown and got to eat some great German chocolate cake, made by Melanie.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Day Nine

Day: 9
Miles: 2,723
Books Aubrey has read: 7
Location: Iowa City, IA, Andrew and Melanie's house.

Today took us from Mom and Dad's house in Colorado to the rolling hills of Iowa. It was a long day in the car. The big question on the table all day was the perennial debate: Which state is worse to drive through, Kansas or Nebraska? We wanted to make a contribution to the state of the question, so we scheduled our trip to take us West through Kansas on I-70, and then back East through Nebraska on I-80. We must start by admitting that both states were pretty boring, but still there are many issues to consider. On the one hand, Nebraska is slightly longer than Kansas, which would tend to make it worse. And believe it or not, Nebraska is flatter than Kansas, is this a pro or a con? Both states take good care of their roads, and construction was minimal on both interstates. The Sunflower State has Kansas City and Topeka, the Cornhusker State has Lincoln and Omaha, so I think it's a toss-up on the city factor. Kansas has the birthplace of an astronaut, Nebraska has the birthplace of John Wayne. Kansas has the world's largest prarie dog, and a chance to pet the baby pigs, Nebraska? No baby pigs.

In the end we tip our hat to Nebraska as the nicer state to drive through. It's greener, flatter (easier driving), more trees, lots of little lakes, and fewer ugly billboards. Dear readers, (both of you) we invite your opinions, which state would you rather drive through, Kansas or Nebraska?

Friday, June 23, 2006

Day Seven

Our week in Colorado is going altogether too fast. Just one more day tomorrow, then on Saturday we'll head to Iowa. The air here is as dry and thin as I remembered, more so perhaps. But the mountains are just as beautiful, and I would love to spend the whole summer here exploring them. We got a tantalizing taste on Tuesday when we camped up in Rocky Mountain National Park. Today we were going to hike up to the punch bowls, but were thwarted by a late start and an early hail storm. We're gonna try again tomorrow, with a little earlier start.

Also we have had fun seeing friends. We got to see friend Stephanie on Monday, who is spending her summer in Paonia, and tiny little town on the western slope. She seemed to be doing quite well. We have seen Connie, who we will also see tomorrow night for dinner. (At our house, so no meatballs.) And today at the Glen we hung out with Megan Dunham, who Aubrey had never met before in person, although we read her blog a lot, and she has read ours as well, so it was a cyber-friendship come to life.

We have also enjoyed using the hot tub on cool Colorado evenings such as this. Speaking of which, I'm going there now...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Day Three

Day: Three
Trip Odometer: 1,740
Number of books Aubrey has read: 3
Location: Colorado Springs, Mom and Dad's house.

Today was the longest day of driving yet, about 13 hours, most of which were in Kansas. In Kansas we passed through Manhattan "The Little Apple", Hays "All American City 1996", and Russell, the birth place of an astronaut. We passed up the opportunity to pet the baby pigs, and see the world's largest prarie dog. Since we were skipping church we started the day with a Tim Keller sermon, and listened to another one in the afternoon. Today was also the best public radio day yet, we heard a good This American Life, and almost all of A Prarie Home Companion, which is impressive to get one radio station that long when you're driving. As we came into Colorado we listened to The Thistle and Shamrock. The best part, of course, was getting here. We'll be staying here for the week, doing some hiking, and generally enjoying ourselves.

Day Two

Day: Two
Trip Odometer: 920
Location: St. Louis, Sara "Fiesty Fireball" Allen's house.

Day two took us from Atlanta to St. Loius. We slept through our alarms this morning, so we weren't on the road quite as early as hoped, but we were still driving by 7:15. We passed through Chattenooga, Nashville, Paducah, and crossed several big rivers. Today we listened to a bit of Car Talk with Click and Clack, more Psalms lectures from Phil Long, and some good St. Louis radio. St. Louis has such good radio stations. After meeting up with Sara we tried to get tickets to a Cardinals game, but to no avail. Only high dollar tickets were left, and even the scalpers we talked to we selling pretty pricey tickets. So we walked around the new Busch stadium, and sadly left without seeing the inside. We got food for a picnic and watched Shakespeare in the Park instead, which was somewhat cool in its own way, although a lot different from watching a baseball game.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Day One

Day: 1
Mile: 316
Location: Atlanta, Kim and Kristin's house.

Day one of our roadtrip extraordinaire was routine and uneventful. I worked a full day at the Credit Union, then we finished loading the car, grabbed dinner at Arby's and got on the road. We made good time, and got to Atlanta in about 4 1/2 hours. We listened to Says You, and This American Life on NPR, then part of St. Anne's Pub on CD. Then we just talked the rest of the way. I drove, Aubrey worked on crafty projects. So far, so good.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Road Trippin'

Tomorrow we leave on our road trip! That means, today we pack! (Not quite as much fun.) But I have loaded our car up with lots of drinks, snacks, and cookies. :) So we definitely won't starve while on the road. Even if we got stranded and ran out of gas. We could survive for days on cookies alone. On our agenda: Atlanta, St. Louis, Colorado Springs, Iowa, Chicago for a Cubs game, State College, PA (our new nephew is there) and then back home. Does anyone have any favorite car games for Jeff and I to play?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Perfect Pres

Since finishing seminary three years ago, I have spent a good amount of time
looking for churches in which I might like to minister. Its really not all that
different from looking for any job, and so I made a list of church

1. The Senior Pastor must be a committed, reformed, presbyterian, evangelical,
semi-liturgical, covenantal, bibliophile, with the same interests as me, who
also challenges me to grow.
2. The staff must be good looking and agreeable. (Craig and Kevin are
exemplary on this count!)
3. The structure and make-up of the church must be explicitly biblical.
4. It should be in a good part of town, the members shouldn't sin too much, or
too greivously. All the children should be well-behaved, and generally pastor
themselves. Everyone should get along swimmingly, know and apply the Bible
consistently, encourage and exhort one another regularly, dress in a style that
makes me comfortable, and live happy middle class lives while still taking risks
for Christ.
5. The music should be perfect, the sanctuary beautiful, and the golf course
pristine. (oh wait, now I'm thinking of the country club I want to join.) And
there should be a Starbucks in the Narthex.

In short, I want to join Perfect Presbyterian Church (PPC, for short). The
trouble is, I've had a good bit of trouble finding this church. In fact, it
doesn't exist.

The reason it doesn't exist is because churches are made up of people like us.
Sinners who are still in the process of being made holy, but with a long ways
yet to go. But as James encourages us, "He gives more grace." And
not only does this grace help us to humble ourselves and draw near to God,
rather than fighting and quarreling, it is the same grace that is purifying His
church. Though we are, in James' words, "an adulterous people," God
is purifying us, making us into a perfect bride for his Son, spotless and pure.
He is sanctifying his people, and we will one day be holy and without blemish.

We are a work in progress, and the reason we volunteer in the church is not
because we like working with "adulterous" people, but because it is a
privilege to help the bride get ready!

Sunday, June 11, 2006


I have had an exceedingly productive weekend. I love the feeling of getting things accomplished. It started on friday, when I didn't have to go to work. I also love 4 day weeks, and they definitely help me be able to get things done and therefore have the feeling of getting things accomplished. So I worked all day friday on this project I have to do for my rotation. I put together a powerpoint presentation. I also on friday visited a patient, another project I have to do for my rotation. Friday night I got started on refinishing some chairs for our dining room. I got these 6 chairs from a friend of our family who has this whole huge barn filled mostly with cars, but also with some furniture. A few months ago, I took 2 down to charleston and refinished them, since 2 was all that we could fit in our car. But I finally got started on doing the other 4. I also worked on them all day saturday, putting the first coat of stain on saturday night around 9. After that, I came inside and did some sewing. Sunday morning, I did some more sewing before going to church. Then I came home from church and did some more sewing, and finished another bag. Then tonight I put the second coat of stain on the chairs, so now they are done. And then we went to see a movie. (Over the Hedge - which, by the way, is great.) Whew. Now it's bed time.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Good info to know.

I was working at the Credit Union today, as I do every day. It was a normalish day. Pretty slow, I was getting a little bored in the afternoon. Then Earl came in. Earl was a nice guy, 24 years old. Just a simple request, really, was all he had. He wanted to change the beneficiary listed on his account. Ok, simple enough. And my usual policy is to ask as few questions as possible about people's personal business. I don't like to pry. Except that he phrased his request a bit oddly. Namely, he couldn't remember the last name of his current beneficiary, who was only 1 year old. I thought this a little odd, that he had chosen an infant to recieve all his money should he pass, and yet he was not so well acquainted with the infant as to know what family he comes from. Earl remembered the last name momentarily and declared his intention to replace Tayjon with Dameree, his son. He placed a curious emphasis on saying that Dameree was "MY son," so I allowed myself a moment of nosiness, and asked whose son Tayjon was. Earl replied, with a completely straight face, and no traceable sense of shame, "Well, we thought he was my son, till we got the blood tests back."

Repressing every other instinct, I encouraged Earl that I was glad he now knew who his son was. This is good information to know. Phone number, social security number, who your children are, all good things to keep track of. Thank goodness for paternity testing.

Monday, June 05, 2006


sorry to any who try to read this blog regularly. Now that I'm in seneca and Jeff is in charleston, it has been harder to write blogs. But only two more weeks and this rotation will be over. And then hopefully it will be back to business. Things have been good, since the last two weekends we've been at two different lake houses. Lots of boating and swimming. And yesterday or saturday, I really sunburned two small areas on my hands, where I apparently didn't put sunscreen. I even have a blister. I guess that means the sunscreen definitely works. I also have been doing some serious sewing. I made two aprons, one purse and am almost finished with a second purse. Photos will follow soon. I must say I am kind of proud of myself for sewing these things since I don't really know what I'm doing. It's been fun.