Village Church in Dyer, IN!

This is our new church building! We are very excited to be moving into our new church home this January. We were hoping to be in the last Sunday in December, but there has been a 2-3 week delay due to a heating issue. It can be kind of disappointing to not be in when we wanted to be, but then I put it in perspective...this building didn't even have a foundation when we moved here just over one year ago. It really is amazing to see how God has blessed us in this building project - especially knowing how most building projects go! There is one couple in our church family who have gone above and beyond the call of duty and we owe them a great deal of gratitude. This particular couple have given so much of their time to this project as the husband has taken on the position of head contractor. He has also had his own company work on the church, sometimes working 18 hour days between the church and other jobs. They've really been amazing in all of this. So many other people in the church have given their time too and it's just been awesome to see. Jake and I walked through the church last Sunday and got to see a bunch of rooms that have been painted and speakers and lights in the sanctuary. What you can't see is our beautiful winding drive through the pine trees that leads back to the church. It is gorgeous, especially with the new fallen snow.

The best part, I think, are all of the ministries that are starting up and the people that are getting involved. To look at these people and have them realize that they are the church, not this building, that they are the ones to reach out to the community, not this building, is so neat to see. People keep asking our leadership how much we expect to grow in the next year. Well, I'm not opposed to growing in numbers at all, but I'm thinking of a different kind of growth. I think we are well on our way to a healthy church - so exciting considering they were going to shut the doors three years ago! I pray that God will bless this church - these people - and that we can use this building as a tool to do all things for Him.

One Down......Lots to Go!

"No more homework, no more books......"

I have finished this semester of college! It's a small feat, I realize, but for me it's a landmark because this is the first semester of school I've completed in six years. And I'm loving it! Last night I had my last exam in Spanish and I think it went very well. In fact, I think I'm actually pulling a 4.0 at Purdue, which is amazing considering all of the ups and downs I had this semester. With being so sick with this pregnancy early on and missing days due to time in the hospital, I was worried that I would go over my absence limits. I think I did in one class, but the professor was understanding enough to not mark me down. The class I am most excited to have over is my English more writing papers just to write papers! I am sure I will be writing papers the rest of the way through college, but hopefully the professor will give me a topic to write about rather than saying, "Write about anything you think is important - but follow this style of writing, make sure you're making it interesting for your audience too, and of course, it has to be ten pages long." I hate having guidelines that are so vague!

Anyway, I am looking forward to a couple of weeks off from schoolwork and then hopefully I can start up in January with some online classes I found at another college. I'm hoping to take a History class and a Sociology class and then have them transfer. Originally I was going to take the full semester off, but I just can't bring myself to not working toward my degree for that long of a time.

I have to admit, I got a weird feeling as I drove off campus last night and realized I had no reason to go there until next fall. It was a bit bittersweet, actually. That sounds so dorky, I'm sure, as most people are racing to leave school. But I think the learning bug has bit me again and I'm the student I was in high school where I find learning interesting - time consuming, yes, but worth every bit of effort you put into it. I think also that going back to school has been "my" thing. It has nothing to do with me being a mom or a wife, but it's about what I've longed to do and what I feel God is calling me to do eventually. That's been a great feeling, as selfish as it sounds. Well, if it is selfish, then I'm guilty of that - but I really do feel like I'm finally working on fulfilling what God has gifted me in (next to being a mother and wife of course) and there can be nothing more important than that!

Our Untraditional Christmas

Jake and I have all of our Christmas decorations up now, thanks to getting our Christmas trees last night. We had tried to get a real tree like we normally do, but weren't able to find a good Christmas tree farm.....there isn't really anything like Church's down here in IN. So, we ended up getting three pencil trees and creating our Christmas tree corner. We bought matching ornaments and are really pleased with how it turned out. It is a huge step for me having such a different arrangement - you would understand if you grew up in a family where your dad sang "Tradition" from Fiddler on the Roof as the family mantra! Cole has his own tree in his room where we hung all of his ornaments. He is really into his "choo choo" ornaments and likes to point and talk to them. I've included some pics of our new home decorated for Christmas, to suit the request of family members who haven't been able to visit yet. First is our dining room with the front door and kitchen to the right. Amazingly enough, I haven't killed my poinsettia yet! Below that is the outside of our front all of these pictures you lose the whole effect since it's daytime, but you can get the drift of what it all looks like! Then is our loft which is above the dining room....the stockings are hung and filled (Cole's is at least!). Next is my nativity scene that I just adore. I have friends down here who are jealous that I have the whole set.... thanks to Aunt Beth for starting us out with the main cast of characters and to Mom for finishing our set! To top it all off are our new trees. We like how simple they are and they cast such a warm glow in the evening, which again you're missing since I took the pictures in the daylight! So, that's our home....a thrilling post, I know. But I guess it gives you an idea of where we are every day!

Life at the Bottom

So for those of you who don't know, Jake and I moved to a new town and a new house about a month and a half ago. I absolutely love our house. It's a two story, 3 bed, two bath with a huge living room, finished basement and beautiful kitchen. The house is on a lake, so we have a great view from the living room and our bedroom. It is in, we are the first people to live in it!

I am learning, though, the downfall to this house - at least in the winter. We live at the bottom of a hill where the street dead-ends right in front of our house. Well, in the last three days, we have had three cars who have gotten stuck as they lost control over the hill and put their tires over our small curb and into our "front yard" (it's not a typical front yard, hence the quotations). Last night - well, actually this morning at about 4 a.m. - I awakened to our house shaking. Literally, our whole house shook. I said to Jake, "Someone hit our house." He of course bolted out of bed to find car #3 who hit the pine tree right in front of our house. By the time Jake went out to help, the person was running off for home. We got a visit from the police this morning and they filed a report and made sure to call the township so we could get some dirt and salt on our hill. The policeman said for sure to get in contact with the town if it happens again. At this point, thankfully, we are only out a mailbox and have some cracked siding from it flying at our house, and hopefully with a report filed, this will get taken care of. All it took was a few people crashing into our yard a few biggie, right? Sometimes it's absolutely ridiculous what it takes to get things done the way they should be. Ahhh.....even as I type, I hear a salt truck. Hopefully no more 4 a.m. least not until the twins come!

A New Spark

June also brought with it a somewhat new adventure for Maurah.  She joined MainStage Academy of Dance in the winter and showcased her work t...