Zachary: 2 Months

Well month two has been a whirlwind of new experiences and meeting new people.

We started with a visit from Zach’s Aunt and Uncle, my brother and sister-in-law. During their stay with we explored Rainbow Falls State Park and Zachary when on his first hike!

Then it was Zachary’s first holiday: 4th of July. For more on what we did see Fourth of July 2017.

The next weekend, Zach experienced his first road trip to Nainai and Papa’s house. Zach met a lot of new people at a family BBQ and spent time with his other Aunt and Uncle, Luke’s brother and wife, and his three cousins. He did pretty well through his first professional photo shoot then enjoyed spending his first evening with his grandparents and cousins while Mom and Dad went to Luke’s High School Reunion. It was a busy weekend.

The weekend after this, Luke’s brother and family came to stay with us. Zachary went on his first train ride and to a Civil War re-enactment put on by the veterans museum.  That Sunday he met our birth coach and the little girl and her family who went through the class with us.

Last weekend, Zach met his great-grandparents. He hung out in the stroller as we walked around the Centralia Antique Fest and loved all of the attention from strangers. Later that week he went to Luke’s work’s annual family BBQ and again got plenty of attention.

During this very busy month Zach has learned to take a nightly bottle from Dad or a Grandparent.

Zach has grown by leaps and bounds this past month. He is talking even more and now smiles and sometimes laughs. Zachary has better ability to control his hands: gripping and pulling toys, shirts, and of course mom’s hair. He still very much enjoys music and attention from anybody and everybody he can.

More on some of these July events to come!

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Busy season

So as I have suggested after our trip to NYC life got very busy, but I did not take the time to really explain how or why. So here goes:

When we got back from Spring break the countdown before the end of the semester began. That means I was in major grading mode as drafts of  research papers were being turned in again and again.

Also, at the end of April Luke and I were guest speakers at church while our pastors were away. We did a Sunday explaining and introducing our role as the global outreach directors, what our church’s goals are for missions, and introducing missionaries our church would be supporting.

This was a large task and before this Sunday I had been in many emails back and forth with missionaries from around the world getting information from them about their ministry and if they will come back to the United States, scheduling their visits.

Starting this past week I also have begun leading a Wednesday night series of interfaith dialogue. We are looking at world religions, their beliefs, and coming to understanding about the differences. Again, this takes time to prepare.

As for school? This is my last week of teaching. As of this weekend I will be grading final tests and compiling final grades for submission. Last weekend and all this week I have been grading final research papers.

In the next few weeks, after reorganizing this semesters content I will be preparing for our end of the semester meeting with my colleges in early June.

We are heading into a busy summer season of family and missionary visits, and as usual the gardening and summer festivals. It is an exciting time of year even if it is a busy one.

A transition update

Yes I know it has been more than three weeks since I last posted. No I have not abandoned my blog or my audience. Yes I missed you too.

Now that that’s out of the way here’s why I haven’t been writing: I have been very busy.

I know it’s THAT excuse again. But I am being honest. We are in a major transition here and it is a positive one but it requires adjusting priorities and time. This means enjoyable hobbies such as blogging tend to go on a temporary invisible shelf until necessary adjustments have been made.

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So now that adjustments are underway let me take the blog off the shelf and start filling you in on the big stuff:

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1. Teaching: Yes! Starting tomorrow I will finally be back in the classroom geared up with my post it notes, paper clips, whiteboard pens, and binder full of handouts. Yesterday I pulled my teaching messenger bag out of its dark forgotten crumpled corner and filled it with books, binders, folders, and teaching supplies- you have no idea how good that felt.

I will be teaching a college level writing course on Tuesday nights through March and April with a local college. The classes are four hours long (eek! I think I will join most of my students in drinking copious amounts of coffee) once a week. I’m looking forward to be able to teach critical thinking and practical writing skills to students who will use them not only in their course work but also hopefully in their careers.  I’m excited by this new opportunity and challenge but of course nervous as well. But it will feel good to be back in the classroom (even if it is for a once a week night class).

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2. Freelance editing: Another big Yes!! If you didn’t know, for the past several years I have been editing my mother-in-law’s books and materials. Now after a few years of experience under my belt I am  branching out to do freelance editing for other clients.

Now let’s be clear I never anticipated going into business for myself even part-time let alone in editing-but as with most people’s careers things gradually change and editing  has become something I enjoy . . . a lot . . . and no it’s not all about the grammar.

I look forward to helping writers express their thoughts and intentions to their audience and that has more to do with word choice, phrasing, and writing structures then making sure the writing is spelled correctly or in the right verb tense (although I do that too). I started working with my first clients at the end of last month and so far it’s been great to read, interpret, and expound on their thoughts, and ideas in a way that will help them immerse their readers into their story.

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3. Social activities: After the holidays last year we put our couples small group on hold until we could re-evaluate it’s direction and focus. After several months of talk, we decided to join up with a new small group hosted by a couple who had previously attended our group in the fall. We are meeting on Sunday nights right now enjoying coffee, baked goodies, and open discussion on how to get beyond the positives/negatives of the label “Christian”.

Also we have just begun preparing for Easter. At our church that means a large production for the community that will be available to see five time the weekend of Easter! This year  I am excited to get back into music  performance by participating in a  Easter production choir. Luke will also be participating as part of the cast. This means practices every Monday night and as we get closer to Easter some Tuesday and weekend dress rehearsals as well. It’s hard to give up one more night of the week (a night previously reserved for exercise) but it’s temporary and gives us the opportunity to get to know more people in our community and be creative.

So those are the big reasons why I haven’t been writing. Yes you will be hearing more on these topics. Yes I will be getting back to sharing about festivals, celebrations, baking, cooking and all of those other “normal” topics . . . in time.

So how about you? Any major changes headed your way?

Are you in a transition as we move towards spring?

Anything you have had to put on the shelf temporarily?

Busy: an update

First and foremost I want to say: No I have not forgotten about all of you!

Second: I have been busy!! I am not telling you this to apologize from my blogging absence. Instead I am actually sharing with excitement that life is finally getting full.  We have been busy with social outings, holiday events, small group meetings, and of course work. So what have I been up to?

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1. Mama Mia: On Thursday the 21rst Luke called me early in the morning and shared that one of his co-workers was giving away two tickets to see a local production of Mama Mia for that night.  I was excited, it has been two years since I’ve seen a musical and how do you say no to free tickets?! Luke said he would go with me but I told him I would ask my friend Sarah to come along for a girls night out, sparing him from a night of ABBA . It was wonderful to get all dressed up and check out our closest preforming art center: Clemens Center . We had seats in the first few rows and this more informal performance included a three song sing-along after the curtain call (costume change and all).

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2. Thanksgiving x 2: This past Tuesday we had our first round of Thanksgiving meals with our small group from church. So Tuesday I was busy making stuffing, cranberry sauce, and a fresh salad. That was our first day of real  snow and the ground was wet and slippery so it took Luke awhile to get home from work. Running a little late to small group, we came in to our friends Scott and Sarah’s mudroom to the smell of turkey and gravy. It was a great laid-back night; a nice change of pace. We enjoyed just spending time together talking about hobbies and our Thanksgiving plans.

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Second round of Thanksgiving we shared with our good friends Tre and Miki. They moved out here 6 months before we did from San Diego and are also newly married. We went to their house in the dark and snow around 4:30pm and enjoyed a great Thanksgiving dinner just the four of us. We played a little Dominion, watched Charlie Brown and clips from the Thanksgiving football game while eating pumpkin bread and drinking coffee. We were grateful for a relaxing day with good food and great friends.

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3. New Job: Coming Soon!! :You read right! After months of applying, waiting, and frustration I will have a new teaching position starting in February. I will be teaching a Business/Professional Writing course for Keuka College’s ASAP program (Accelerated Studies Adult Program). Right now I am in the middle of the hiring paperwork followed up  by online teacher training and so on. This has been a long time coming and although it is only one class for now, I am grateful for a foot in the door!

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4. Winter Has Passed: No I’m not delusional. I realize winter is only beginning, evident by the snow falling outside, Winter Has Passed is the title to a new book about to be published. This is my mother-in-law Diana Greene’s 4th book and my second book as her editor in chief.  We have been working around the clock to get the final edits together for this second book in her Extraordinary in the Ordinary series so it can be sold for Christmas. I also had the privilege this time of writing the book’s introduction. For more on this book check out: Diana Greene Ministries or Diana Greene Ministries facebook page.

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What’s next?: Today I am baking like crazy for our first Christmas event of the season that has potential to become a new tradition. Then next weekend is Sparkle (Corning’s biggest winter festival) and a Christmas concert. All of which I will share more about later.

So now it’s time to catch up with all of you:

Are you still stuffed from Thanksgiving? What do you do with leftovers?

Are you ready for the Christmas season yet?