I can't believe how long it's been since my last post! Well here is a quick run through of the last 20+ days of our lives.
We visited Belleville, PA in late July and had a great time with family. We had so much fun that we didn't really take too many pictures. Here are a few we did snap though.
No trip to Belleville is complete without visiting the sale barn. This time we actually went exploring inside the livestock barns to see the animals. This really brought back memories for me of when I'd go through the barn with my Grandpa Peachey who used to work at BLM as he always called it. The only thing missing was the can of Hires root beer for my kids like Grandpa used to always get for us.
We also got to visit with Grandpa and Grandma Hostetler in their apartment. We savor every moment we can share with them.
Some scenes around Big Valley... probably the only place on earth where almost all of the billboards are painted with scripture verses!
And of course lots of Amish everywhere!
When we got back to Ohio, Naty left to Dallas, TX for a Mary Kay seminar of for 4 1/2 days and I stayed at home with Gaby and Marcus.
Monday July 26 was my last day of studies at Ohio State. I had my "oral defense" of my portfolio with my adviser Dr. Haneda and the "second reader" Dr. Moore (L to R beside me). The oral defense sounds scarier than it actually is. It was more like a directed conversation about my work and was actually enjoyable. The best part is... I'M FINISHED WITH MY MASTER'S DEGREE!!!!!! Graduation is on August 29.
I though I should include a picture of Arps Hall, the building were most of my classes were held. I have no idea how many hours I spent there over the last three years!
Oh... remember the post a while back about pruning the tomatoes and hoping for fruit, well here is the reward. I have tons of tomatoes coming on and now, they are starting to ripen too.
We're still enjoying the birds as well. I decided to get this sock feeder after seeing one at Ambrose and Katie's apartment in Belleville and now we have goldfinches coming to dine. Last week we saw the first hummingbird too!
July 29-August 1 was the annual Conservative Mennonite Conference in Cedarville, OH. Our whole family was involved this year. Naty, Gaby and I were in dramas that were presented throughout the weekend and Gaby and Marcus sang in the mass children's choir. Marcus loved the choir and sang his heart out, especially since this was the first year he could participate.
During the summer we have been meeting at Westgate Park for our "house church" even though it isn't really a house. We love being outdoors and the kids love having more room to play.
Sunday night August 1st was an extra special house church service because Gaby's Barbies, Tarissa and Eric, got married! Gaby had everything planned and set up the decorations.
I found the wedding vows on the Internet and conducted the ceremony.
Gaby made sure they said "I do" and gave each other a kiss to seal the union! (It looks like Ismaelito wanted to help too...)
Gaby was extremely happy to have several of her friends join us. She made personalized invitations and sent them out a few weeks before the big event. Clarimar, one of Gaby's best friends (far right) even gave Gaby her doll house for the newlywed couple to have as their very own! Thank you so much Clari!!
This past Sunday we were back at our house for our church gathering. We introduced the "Experiencing God" course to our churchmates and a few other friends, inviting them to join us in deeper discipleship training over the next year. We will be doing the "Experiencing God" course, selected chronological Bible readings, different types of prayer and specific practical application over the next twelve months as a more directed way of knowing God and knowing each other better.
The last picture is of two ladies that Naty was giving facials to tonight. Naty started her own business as a Mary Kay cosmetics consultant and has been busily working to help make her friends and friends' friends more beautiful everyday!
Well, there is the flyby view of what we've been doing lately. I think I need to update more often, then this wouldn't take so long!!