Congrats to Micah and Emily who are now expecting there 2nd child! We are soooo happy for you!

A little about our Thanksgiving week:
Happy birthday to my dear husband (last Tues.)! He is a 29. I love him more each year.
We worked vigorously on our bathroom remodel. It's very close to being done, pictures soon to come!
We stayed up at my parents for 3 nights. It was a great time to just be with the family. Even though we live farely close, it's hard to coordinate everyone being in one place at the same time! I'm thankful that we all get a long so well and love being with each other!

Us. Not in our best "picture mood". The 2 girls were recovering from the stomach flu, ugg.
Julie, Dustin and Tyson.

Josie and Bullseye. =)

That's everyone!


If anyone is interested...

Emmaus alumni has a blog site, but is only available to alumni. People participate however they want from debates, info, prayer requests, to just having fun.

The creators have now made a similar site that's free and available to the public: www.shoutlife.com. The good thing about these sites is they are monitored pretty conservatively, so it can be edifying to the participants. So if you want to check it out, go ahead and you'll probably find some familiar faces.


Jen is at a Lady's Bible study tonight with our church, and now that the kids are in bed I thought I would update myself on what everyone's blogging these days.

Our date night that Jen mentioned on last Saturday was great. What an experience to see people who now have a shot at life they otherwise wouldn't have had without Christ. Prison, drugs, alcohol abuse, you name it - now on the road to recovery thanks to some caring individuals and most of all Christ. Hope Ministries is a neat organization that is very Christ centered. I was visiting with one of the directors recently and he recounted a recent story in which the VA administration approached Hope Ministries with a very large amount of annual funding because of the success rate of the recovery of its residents and their long term sustainability. Hope was clear from the begining that they would not accept any funding if there were strings attached regarding how they run their ministry - of course the VA said that was fine, but well into the arrangement someone finally mentioned that they would like Hope Ministries not say Jesus so much, and not require its residents to attend chapel. The reply, as it was told to me was "you came to us because of the success of the program, and now you want to take away the one thing that makes it successful. No thank you." Obviously walking away from that much money is dificult for any mission work, but hey, I don't recall finances ever being a problem for God.

I don't know how many of you have heard of or listened to much of Ravi Zacharius, but I have been listening to downloaded messages of his for some time now. This week I listened to a 5 part series entitled "Worship: A clue to meaning in life". It is definetly one of the more profound pieces of oratory that I have heard in a while. Ravi, as he often does, masterfully combines several soaring thoughts and concepts and weaves them understandibly in a mind numbing 3-4 minute segment at the end of part 4. Well worth the download if you get a chance.

We are in the middle of several remodeling projects that have had some twists and turns. It was all pretty manageable until I realized late in the summer that a roof leak really needed to be a complete re-roof rather than just trying to fix a couple trouble spots. And of course I couldn't convince any roofers that it should be done for free. So what started as wiring a new electrical outlet for a new washer dryer has turned into a new bathroom with new plumbing and electrical and shower and tile and the whole works, a new roof, new siding on the second floor, re-built soffits, all of that painted and a giant void between our kitchen and bathroom which will one day be a kitchen expansion. This week a roofer, sider, painter, and drywaller will have all been at my house at one point or another. Here are a couple midpoint pictures - just studs, plumbing, and insulation at this point. within a couple weeks I should be able to post pictures of it with paint and tile.
Existing Tub

New Shower


Since I said I would put up the "after" of the chair recover, here it is. Nothing special, but much more kid-eatable-on.

Andy and I are going on a date night tonight. Our dear neighbor is babysitting. This is not going to be a typical date, but I'm sure it'll be fun. We are going to serve food for a banquet at a homeless shelter in DSM. It's called Hope ministries and is a solid Christian evangelical organization. Their goal is to see people saved, not just provide for them physically. This is a banquet honoring the "graduates", who have had their lives changed spiritually and are now supporting themselves. Andy has done quite a bit with them, but this with be my first time. Afterwards we'll go out to eat.


This week I've been catching up and trying to get back into my responsibilies after a great weekend with friends in Chicago. We had an amazing time catching up and hanging out together. This weekend has been a hope of ours for years and we finally got it together between our schedules of weddings, babies, moves, and whatever else life brings. The highlight was going to a broadway play. I was in awe of how much talent the lead actresses posessed! =) To be able to act and sing like they did was a wonder. I didn't hear or see one mistake, but I'm also uneducated in this sphere. We stayed at the Embassy Suites Downtown Lakefront thanks to rewards points from Heidi's father in law. Katy lives in Chicago, so she was a great hostess and lead us to wonderful shopping and restaurants. Thank you to our "better halves" for their sacrifice in letting us do this! ~J~


Sisters, Katy and Kari,

syched to see "Wicked"
(not what you think, it's
a take off the Wizard of
Oz) on broadway.

Me, Kaci, Heidi eating seafood.

Heidi, Evie, Kaci at the submarine exhibit in the Museum of Science and Industry.