Happy Birthday My Beautiful Bride

Happy Birthday Bridget! It was my beautiful bride’s birthday and we had an amazing day. We finished up our language training program last week and are full steam ahead into the three week cross cultural portion. It was beautiful seeing our new MTI community come around and celebrate Bridget’s birthday today. She felt loved and celebrated today, so, thank you all! We woke up to a big sign on the wall that read “Happy Birthday Bridget” and throughout the day, Bridget received gifts, flowers, cards and many words of encouragement and celebration. At lunch, the MTI class and staff sang Happy Birthday and the cafeteria staff even decorated a cake with a birthday greeting for her and gave her a personal cupcake, :)

Bridget and I went on a hike together and got to relax on the banks of a private picturesque mountain resevoir and enjoy God’s amazing creation. We also had some good family time playing outside and enjoyed a nice family meal together at a local Mexican restaurant (We love Mexican food!)

Thank you Lord for this amazing day and for celebrating your amazing daughter!

Let the Language Learning Begin

We have arrived at MTI and we are full steam ahead in our language learning. We have had two full days of class and we are already immersed in phonetic drills and language learning activities. The facility and program are amazing and this will help us greatly as we hit the ground running learning the Luo language in Uganda. There are 41 adults and 16 kids here at the PILAT program and we are meeting some amazing people that are going to be serving all over the globe (China, Japan, Nepal, Czech Republic, Croatia, Italy, Peru, Angola, Kenya, India, Myanmar, Uganda, Haiti, Jordan, Philippines, Zambia, Cambodia, Thailand, Tanzania, and Kyrgyzstan.)

The accommodations are great! We have two adjoining rooms so we have some space to spread out which is nice. Ethan and Evelyn are loving their classes and they are getting into the swing of our new daily rhythm. Their favorite activity is playing outside with their new friends at the playground that is onsite. Ethan loves climbing “the big rock” and Evelyn was the head monster today and all the kids were chasing her around the playground. We are getting acclimated to the altitude (which we’re just outside of Colorado Springs, with an elevation over 7,000 feet) and the location is beautiful. We’re just off the Santa Fe trail and we have already been enjoying the outdoors as a family. There is a train that goes by multiple times each day, so the kids love seeing that. Here is a little video I came across about MTI and you can get a little glimpse about what we’re doing.

And We’re Off

This past Sunday we had our official commissioning from our church and it was an amazing time of prayer and worship with our community. We already miss you all dearly! Monday, we finally got our house packed up and we pulled out of Indy. We are unemployed, homeless and loving every minute of shamelessly following hard after Him.

After finishing our visit with Bridget’s parents in St. Louis today, it’s back on the road to Wichita, Kansas to see my Grandma. We will spend a few days there and will arrive in Colorado Springs Monday, where we will start our last stretch of training at Mission Training International (MTI) before moving to Uganda in November. We will be attending two programs (PILAT and SPLICE) to complete some cross cultural and language acquisition training. We invite your prayers for rest and a rich time of learning. We love and miss you all and we appreciate any and all messages from the dear family and loved ones that we miss.

Dinner in a Pumpkin (Recipe)

*Originally posted in 2009. Re-posting because Bridget just made up another batch and it’s so tasty! There’s something about eating a meal that was cooked inside a pumpkin. The kids were fascinated by it.

dinner_in_a_pumpkin2 -1 med. size pumpkin
-1 onion
-2 stalks of celery
-1 small can of mushrooms
-1 can cream of celery soup
-1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
-1 cup frozen baby peas
-1 cup brown rice
-2 tablespoons brown sugar
-2 tablespoons soy sauce
-salt and pepper to taste
Cut top off pumpkin and clean out. In large pot saute
cut up onion and celery in small amount of oil. Add
ground beef and let brown. Add cooked rice and add
remaining ingredients into pot. Put all cooked
ingredients into pumpkin, put lid on and bake in 400
degree oven for 1 1/2 hours or until pumpkin is done.
Serves 5 people.

(Download printer-friendly PDF of recipe)

Bridget’s Birthday Week

It was my beautiful wife’s birthday this week and as our family tradition goes, we celebrate “birthday week”. With birthday week coming to a close, we wanted to share the highlight of the week which was a surprise birthday party we threw for Bridget at our place which included many dear friends and family, GT South’s BBQ, a 20 foot bright orange sky dancer and much more. Check out photos from the evening below (and don’t miss the balloon drop video below, which was the pinnacle of the night!) Happy Birthday honey!

Balloon Drop

A “surprise” balloon drop for Bridget at her birthday party this week. We tried to set it up so she would come in the back door and walk through the kitchen to be met by a waterfall of balloons, but she came around the front and saw the set up. She sensed we were up to something and sniffed us out, :)